No. 8 San Diego State topples No. 13 UC San Diego 6-4 for Harper Cup
SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- For the 12th year in a row, No. 8 San Diego State defeated No. 13 UC San Diego, posting a 6-4 triumph on Saturday in the annual Harper Cup game at Aztec Aquaplex. With the victory, SDSU closed out its regular-season slate with a 22-9 overall record, while the Tritons slip to 22-13 on the year.
Bailey Wickliffe scored two goals to lead the Aztecs in the defensive battle, while Samantha Voigt was named the contest's most valuable player after finishing with one goal, four assists and a steal.
SDSU drew first blood in the opening quarter during a 6-on-5 opportunity when Emily Whalen corralled a centering pass from Anique Herrmann and flipped a shot past UCSD goalkeeper Courtney Miller at the 5:37 mark. The Tritons answered with a goal by Jolene Guiliana just a minute-and-a-half later, before the Aztecs went ahead to stay 2-1 on an Amber Pezzolla skip shot from close range with 2:25 remaining in the period.
After a scoreless second quarter, SDSU extended its advantage when Herrmann converted a penalty shot at the 6:33 mark of the third period. However, UCSD answered with a score on its next possession, as Alexis Wieseler found the back of the net to narrow the gap to 3-2. Ttwo minutes later, the Aztecs called timeout following a Triton ejection, and the results paid off, as Voigt rifled a shot from the right wing into the cage, restoring the hosts' two-goal cushion at 4-2 with 3:58 to go in the quarter.
UCSD responded with a goal by Sarah Lizotte on its next foray down the pool, but SDSU maintained the upper hand, as Wickliffe gathered a long outlet pass from goalkeeper Rachel Mitchell on a counterattack shortly thereafter, sprinting in to squeeze a shot inside the right post at the 2:25 mark of the quarter.
The Tritons tightened the score in the final stanza on a Wieseler goal during a 6-on-5 chance with 5:31 left to play. However, Wickliffe provided the game's final outcome just more than a minute later, depositing a shot into the back of the net off a perfect Pezzolla feed at the 4:23 mark, while the Aztecs successfully kept the visitors at bay for the remainder of the contest.
Mitchell had 10 saves in front of the net for SDSU, while her counterpart Miller finished with eight stops.