The San Diego State women’s lacrosse team earned a thrilling overtime road victory over California, 14-11, in its Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) opener on Friday night at Memorial Stadium.
Junior Grace Korandovich scored a goal in each of the two three-minute overtime periods, the first coming just 38 seconds into the first overtime, to help the Aztecs defeat the Golden Bears for the first time in the program’s three-year history. It’s also the first time SDSU (3-0, 1-0 MPSF) has been undefeated through three games of the season.
“It was a very physical game, and we didn’t find our groove until overtime,” head coach Kylee White said. “We kind of beat ourselves on a couple things, but we stayed united, mentally tough and fought hard to get the win.”
Korandovich scored a career-high four goals to go with two draw controls and a caused turnover, while senior Meris Walsh recorded three goals with an assist, and junior Bailey Ewing finished with three goals.
Junior Lauren Maack added two scores for the Aztecs, while junior Lauren Paul came up big defensively with four caused turnovers and three groundballs. In addition, freshman goalkeeper Katrina Reeves tallied a career-high 10 saves, and sophomore Felice Artuso had five draw controls.
San Diego State ended the first half on a five-point scoring run, and Korandovich scored the first goal of the second half to push the Aztecs’ lead to 7-3 with 27:16 remaining. After consecutive goals from Walsh and Maack extended the lead to 9-4, Cal scored three straight to pull within two.
A Korandovich goal off an assist from freshman Vickie Porter put SDSU ahead, 11-8, but the Golden Bears (1-1, 1-1 MPSF) scored three goals in the final four minutes of regulation, capped by freshman Bella Hunter’s goal with five seconds left, to send the game into overtime. Hunter finished with a game-high five goals, while senior Paige Gasporino had two goals and three assists.
“We took (overtime) more as a new game,” White said. “We knew we didn’t play well the last 15 minutes (of regulation), but overtime was a fresh start to play our game. We came out ready to put them away.”
San Diego State continues its road trip through Northern California on Sunday, as the Aztecs take on Saint Mary’s at SMC Recreational Field beginning at 1 p.m. PT.