No. 9 UCSB Takes Down No. 21 Wagner, Nearly Upsets No. 7 Michigan at Michigan Invite

Amelia Meckelborg (Photo by Jeff Liang)
Amelia Meckelborg (Photo by Jeff Liang)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The UC Santa Barbara women's water polo team split its pair of matches on the final day of the Michigan Invitational, defeating 21st-ranked Wagner and seventh-ranked Michigan on Sunday afternoon at Canham Natatorium.

No. 9 UCSB 11, No. 21 Wagner 7

Sarah Snyder continued her stellar weekend with a hat trick and the trio of Mollie Simmons, Amanda Legaspi, and Claire Kelly each scored two goals as the Gauchos upended the Seahawks in the first game of the day.

Sarah Snyder and Kelly scored the opening two goals of the game before Wagner's Malia Josephson got the Seahawks on the board on the powerplay.

Caitlyn Snyder and Legaspi scored the next pair of goals before Wagner put three in a row into the Gauchos' cage to tie the game at 4-4.

Then, UCSB went on a 4-0 run powered by two goals apiece from Sarah Snyder and Simmons to take an 8-4 lead, which they wouldn't relinquish throughout the second half as they won their sixth game of the season.

No. 7 Michigan 7, No. 9 UCSB 6

In what was a tight game throughout, Michigan's Kathy Rogers scored the game-winner with 2:33 left in the fourth quarter to defeat UCSB for the second-straight week.

Michigan went ahead twice, but Santa Barbara answered back within a minute each time.

It wasn't until the second quarter that Michigan was able to earn a two-goal advantage, with Emily Ritner scoring early and late in the period to establish a 4-2 lead before the half.

The Wolverines' Erin Neustrom extended the lead to 5-2 in the third quarter, but the Gauchos got goals from their veterans in Amelia Meckelborg, Sarah Snyder, and Amanda Legaspi to tie the game at five-all as the game went into the fourth quarter.

Sofie Pontre and Kathy Rogers pulled Michigan ahead by two once again, giving the hosts some comfort with 2:33 remaining in regulation.

Mollie Simmons scored with just over a minute left, but the Gauchos couldn't find the equalizer as they dropped to 6-3 on the season.

Another tournament is on the horizon for UCSB as the team heads south to UC San Diego for the Triton Invitational, taking place on February 8 and 9. Matchups are still to be determined but they will be posted on UCSBGauchos.com when available.

Follow UCSB women's water polo all season long on Twitter and Instagram.