LA JOLLA, Calif. – The UC Santa Barbara women's water polo team (7-4) split its pair of matches on the opening day of the 2020 Triton Invitational on Saturday evening at Triton Pool.
No. 9 UCSB 3, No. 21 San Diego State 2
The game between the Gauchos and Aztecs was scoreless for the first 14 minutes of play, until San Diego State's Maddie Higginson scored with 1:54 remaining in the first half.
The Aztecs' lead would remain intact until there was 3:04 left in the third quarter, when the Gauchos found a goal through freshman utility Claire Kelly, and then another from senior captain Kate Coski with 1:47 to go that got the Gauchos up 2-1.
Reliable sophomore attacker Amanda Legaspi scored another goal 33 seconds into the fourth quarter, getting the Gauchos ahead by two.
San Diego State made things interesting when Sydney Hurst's goal at the 3:16 mark made it a one-score game, but the Gauchos were able to keep the Aztecs at bay to advance to the Triton Invitational Quarterfinals.
Senior goalkeeper Kenzi Snyder made five saves in the Gauchos' win, their seventh of the season.
No. 7 UC San Diego 11, No. 9 UCSB 7
In the nightcap, UC San Diego pulled away from UCSB thanks to a strong showing in the second and third quarters.
Sarah Snyder's two goals and Mollie Simmons' score with 2:45 left in the first quarter matched what UCSD had to offer in the opening frame, but the Tritons put away three unanswered goals in the second quarter to lead 6-3 before Sarah Snyder pulled one back before halftime.
After the break, the hosts scored another goal, this time from Grace Pevehouse, to lead 7-4.
Sarah Snyder answered with her fourth goal of the game, but its effect was immediately nullified by Ciara Franke's strike with just over five minutes left as UCSD led 9-5.
Once again, Sarah Snyder returned the favor, assisted by a pass from Kelly, and the lead was cut to three once more.
UCSD scored twice more in the fourth quarter before Sarah Snyder found her sixth goal of the game, at which point the Tritons had put the game out of reach.
The Gauchos will take on Big West rivals Long Beach State at 8:30 a.m. in the tournament's consolation bracket. The Beach defeated LMU before falling to No. 1 USC in today's action. The winning team will play in the fifth-place match at 3:10 p.m., while the losing squad plays for seventh place at 1:50 p.m. Live stats for both games will be available on UCSBGauchos.com.