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GCC WEEKLY UPDATE: Goalie Katie McDonnell named GCC Player of the Week
GCC WEEKLY UPDATE: Goalie Katie McDonnell named GCC Player of the Week
Women's Water Polo - Wed, Apr. 12, 2017

LOS ANGELES - The annual Easter Weekend brings a light schedule within in college water polo, and the Golden Coast Conference follows suit with just four games on the slate. Three of the contests feature GCC match-ups as the season reaches its stretch run.




In a battle of the unbeaten, Kate McDonnell made a career-high 18 saves in SDSU's key conference victory over Pacific, earning GCC Player of the Week honors for April 13. It was her eighth double-figure save effort of the season… The 18 stops eclipsed her previous best of 16, accomplished vs. No. 13 Indiana on March 12. She held the Tigers to their lowest scoring output of the conference season.
Past Winners:
Apr. 13 - Kate McDonnell (San Diego St.)
Apr. 6 - Alexis Hollinrake (JR/Redlands, CA) (Pacific)
Mar. 30 - Ioli Benekou (SR/Marousi, Greece) (San Diego St.)
Mar. 23 - Caroline Israels (SR/Pompano Beach, FL) (San Diego St) & Hana Vilanova (SO/Barcelona, Spain) (LMU)
Mar. 16 - Megan Myers (SR/Temecula, CA) (Azusa Pacific)
Mar. 9 - Julia Ponce (JR/Gig Harbor, WA) (Fresno Pacific)
Mar. 2 - Kyra Christmas (SO/Calgary, Alberta, Canada) (Pacific)
Feb. 23 - Amber Penney (FR/Cape Town, South Africa) (Fresno Pacific)
Feb. 15 - Caroline Israels (San Diego St.)
Feb. 8 - Francesca Puccinelli (SR/San Francisco, CA) (Santa Clara)
Feb. 1 - Caitlin Schafer (SR/Hollister, CA) (LMU)


There was some movement in the top-15 of the polls this week thanks to San Diego State's one-goal win over Pacific. The Aztecs move to No. 11 in the nation, just one spot behind Pacific, who fell to No. 10. LMU (No. 21) and California Baptist (No. 25) remained at the same ranking in the Varsity Top-25 Poll for Week 13.



Just four games are on the schedule this week, three coming in GCC play. All three GCC match-ups are on Thursday with San Diego State hosting a doubleheader with Azusa Pacific and Concordia. The other match-up is Santa Clara visiting No. 25 CBU. On Saturday, Fresno Pacific travels to CSU Monterey Bay.

DateTimeMatch-up  Note
Apr. 64:00 PM(21) LMU @ (25) California Baptist8-6
 5:00 PMFresno Pacific @ Azusa Pacific9-13
Apr. 71:30 PMFresno Pacific @ CUI7-6
 4:00 PM(9) Pacific @ (14) San Diego St.7-8
Apr. 811:00 AMAzusa Pacific @ (21) LMU8-13
 1:00 PMSanta Clara @ Sonoma State5-8
 5:30 PM(9) Pacific @ CUI17-2
Apr. 112:00 PM(22) CSU Bakersfield @ (14) San Diego St.5-6
Apr. 121:30 PMSanta Clara @ CUI14-8
Apr. 133:00 PMAzusa Pacific @ (11) San Diego St.*
 4:00 PMCUI @ (11) San Diego St.*
 4:00 PMSanta Clara @ (25) California Baptist*
Apr. 151:00 PMFresno Pacific @ CSU Monterey Bay 

Check out the COMPOSITE SCHEDULE for the full slate of games for the week of Apr. 6.


Alex Paxton (SR/Fullerton, CA)- Recorded five goals in the Cougars two games this week. Paxton contributed a hat trick, two assists, and one steal for the Cougars.

The Lancers will host Santa Clara on Thursday. They are led by Paizlee Dreyer (SR/Riverside, CA) (48 goals) and Lizette Perez (SO/Commerce, CA) (43 goals) on offense, while the defense is paced by Lina Medeiros (SR/Lake Elsinore, CA), the GCC leader in steals with 58.

Concordia travels to San Diego to face the Aztecs on Thursday. The Eagles are led by Kelley Guests with 26 goals. Hanna Jordan is second on the team with 17, followed by Shannon Graham with 16. Corbin Bricks (SO/Clovis, CA) leads the team with 15 steals.

Fresno Pacific finished 1-1 in GCC play last week, falling to Azusa Pacific 13-9 on Thursday before defeating Concordia 7-6 on Friday. The win against the Eagles gave FPU 14 wins on the season, which marks a program record. Julia Ponce led the Sunbirds with four goals, two steals and an assist on the week, including two goals and an assist in the win over CUI. Savannah Mangrum (FR/Sanger, CA) added two goals, six drawn ejections and seven steals on the week for the Sunbirds. FPU now takes a week off of conference play to face Cal State Monterey Bay on Friday at 6 p.m.

Caitlin Schafer had a pair of four goal games to lead LMU to two GCC wins. Schafer scored over a third of LMU's goals on the weekend and added a team-high six steals. The senior ranks in the top two in the conference with 57 total goals, is third in points with 78, and fourth in steals with 40. Her 18 goals in conference play is the conference-best, as well as her 23 points. The Lions are off this week.

Pacific fell to San Diego State and then recovered for an easy win over Concordia on the road last week. They are off this week. Kyra Christmas is fourth in the GCC with 45 goals, followed by Rachel Krieger (JR/Regina, Sask., Canada) with 37, which is ranked 10th in the GCC. Alexis Hollinrake is third in the GCC with 175 steals.

The Aztecs, who are 24-0 all-time in GCC games, can clinch at least a share of the Golden Coast regular-season title and the GCC Championship's top seed with a victory over Azusa Pacific. SDSU finds itself in the driver's seat for both the title and the tournament's No. 1 seed after the league's head coaches voted them to finish second behind Pacific in the annual preseason poll. Defense was the theme in San Diego State's win over the Tigers. Goalkeeper Kate McDonnell tied her career high with 16 saves and the Aztecs improved to 9-2 over their last 11 games when holding their opponent to nine goals or fewer. SDSU is 0-9 this year when allowing 10 or more goals. The Aztecs also held Pacific's leading scorer, Kyra Christmas, to zero goals.

Santa Clara continues its season closing stretch of five straight on the road this week with a pair of Golden Coast Conference games in Southern California. The Broncos face Concordia on Wednesday and Cal Baptist the next day. Santa Clara is coming off an 8-5 road loss to Sonoma State on Saturday. Annie Eldredge (SO/La Jolla, CA) had a game-high tying three goals and Francesca Puccinelli went the distance in net for the Broncos, registering 13 blocks, her 10th double-digit output of the season. Sophomore Hannah Buck (SO/Lafayette, CA) continues to pace the Santa Clara offense with a team-best 33 goals. She has also accounted for a team-high 50 kickouts drawn. Senior Cathy Cantoni (SR/San Jose, CA) has been the top distributor with a team-high 19 assists. She also leads the team in steals (19).