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Water polo ends home schedule with blowout loss

No. 1 USC Trojans hand Devils 13-4 defeat

 by Vica Vela
The State Press

 published on Tuesday, April 13, 2004


If losing games to strong opponents equates to character building, then ASU's water polo squad has built a character mansion.

In a game between two programs in different stages of development, top-ranked USC easily handled ASU, 13-4, on Saturday to improve their unblemished record to 18-0.

The loss comes on the heels of ASU's 13-5 setback at No. 3 ranked UCLA last week. Although the Sun Devils have been on the short end of the stick in back-to-back blowouts, the team prefers to look at the positive.

"[USC is] the best team in the country, so to come across them makes us better," said freshman Ashley Bower, who notched two goals in the team's loss. "We only lost the first quarter by one, and we drew another.

"UCLA has a lot of international experience. I think as a young team, we have a long way to go, but we can get there."

With a 9-14 record, winning is something the No. 15 Sun Devils haven't experienced much of this season. According to their coach, the team's tough losses have nothing to do with lack of preparation or talent.

"It doesn't take any more training other than putting your mind to it," head coach Vicki Gorman said. "Losing is something a young team needs to go through to get better.

"I thought they gave it their best effort (against USC). We came into the game with the right mindset, and we played tough."

The Sun Devils are, in fact, a young team that will have many more opportunities over the next few years to compete with the likes of USC. However, for the team's sole senior, Katie Davis, time is not on her side. Saturday's game was the final home game of her college career and was not one of her best. In addition to being held scoreless for the first time this season, Davis did not play most of the game due to an early ejection.

"It was very surprising," Davis said. "I have more games left though, so hopefully we can learn from this."

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