Vosters leads Cal's conquest of Aztecs with six goals

Photo: Elizabeth McLaren's pass to Dana Ochsner led to Cal's 14th point of the contest.
Zully Juarez/Staff
Elizabeth McLaren's pass to Dana Ochsner led to Cal's 14th point of the contest.

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San Diego State's players huddled poolside at halftime, clapping enthusiastically.

Even though Cal's Breda Vosters had just scored in transition to complete a hat trick, the Aztecs were going toe to toe on the road with the country's No. 2 team.

Down just 7-6 at Spieker Aquatics Complex, they were ready for more.

Only problem? So was Vosters.

The sophomore driver from Winnipeg, Manitoba, found the net three more times during Saturday's 15-12 victory. With a pair of five-goal efforts already under her belt this season, she poured in a career-high six and reached 52 on the year to pace the Bears (21-3, 6-0 in the MPSF).

Her performance proved instrumental in helping Cal stave off a valiant effort from San Diego State (19-11, 1-5).

"Breda played awesome," said sophomore center Dana Ochsner, who turned in a hat trick of her own for the Bears. "She's such a good shooter. She's not going to make them all, but I have confidence when she has the ball."

Vosters' exploits were key in a game where the Bears started unevenly and allowed their largest goal total of the season. Cal trailed, 4-3, after surrendering unanswered scores by Sarah Brady, Kimmy Keach and Alex Ford to close out the opening period.

The first half saw four ties and three lead changes, with the Aztecs taking advantage of some sloppy passing and defensive miscues by the Bears. SDSU's attack was sharp, as eight different players contributed goals on Saturday.

"San Diego came out and they played hard, they play hard all the time," Cal coach Richard Corso said. "There were no surprises. It's just that if you're a stroke off, or two strokes off or thinking about writing a paper instead of playing drive defense, that's the result."

Added Ochsner: "We looked up at the scoreboard and were like, 'What are we doing right now?' I think everybody was just frustrated at themselves. We were surprised that we let it get to that."

Vosters wouldn't let SDSU get much closer.

Her straight away shot from over 10 meters out brought the Bears' lead to 9-6, and a perfectly-placed lob past Aztecs keeper Kelly Campoli made the score 11-7.

San Diego State struck twice to finish up the third period, but Vosters and Emily Csikos responded soon after with back-to-back scores to give Cal a comfortable 13-9 cushion. The Bears led by at least two the entire second half.

"Even if sometimes the shot isn't there, (Breda) can still make be there," junior Libby McLaren said. "I think it was a team effort, helping to open her up, being patient with the ball, and getting it to the free man, which was her."

Cal's victory sets up a 1-2 matchup against Stanford to determine the MPSF tournament's top overall seed. For Vosters and company, Saturday's test could prove to be beneficial before facing the nation's top-ranked squad.

"It was a good game for us, just to realize that we can't back down," Ochsner said. "Now that we're here and we're so close, we really need to step it up."


Ed Yevelev covers women's water polo. Contact him at [email protected]

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