Big Second Period Lifts No. 6 UC Irvine Past No. 15 UCSB, 8-4

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Sixth-ranked UC Irvine exploded for five goals in the second period en route to an 8-4 Big West Conference water polo win over UC Santa Barbara on Sunday afternoon.

The Anteaters (19-5 overall, 2-0 in the Big West) scored the first five goals of the match and led the Gauchos (16-12 overall, 1-1 in the Big West) 6-1 at halftime.

Leading 1-0 after the first period, Irvine scored four goals in the first 4:20 of the second period to take a commanding lead.  Michaela Pierandozzi got things started in the second scoring just 23 seconds in. Katie Croghan was next as she found the back of the net with 5:18 left.  Less than a minute later, it was Pierandozzi again and then with 3:40 to play, Danielle Ward scored to give the Anteaters a 5-0 lead.

Bryce Winton broke the shutout for the UCSB scoring her first of two goals with 2:39 remaining in the first half.  Irvine's Hillary Estrada's goal with just over a minute to play in the first half made it 6-1 Irvine.

The Gauchos tallied the only goal of the third period and it came late.  Lauren Martin notched a goal with just under a minute to play to cut the gap to 6-2 entering the fourth period.

After the Anteaters scored the first two goals of the final frame, Santa Barbara responded with goals from Katie Zakula and Winton to close out the scoring.

Goalkeeper Ruth Milne kept UCSB within shouting distance of Irvine as she produced 15 saves in the match.

The Gauchos return to the pool on Saturday, April 7 when they host a pair of matches.  At 11:30 a.m., they will host Cal State Northridge in a Big West match and then at 6:00 p.m. they will take on Cal Baptist in a non-conference match.  Both contests will be at Campus Pool and they will represent the final home matches of the season for UCSB.

No. 6 UC Irvine 8, No. 15 UC Santa Barbara 4






UC Irvine











UCSB Goals: Bryce Winton 2, Lauren Martin 1, Katie Zakula 1. 
UCSB Saves: Ruth Milne 15. 

UC Irvine Goals: Michaela Pierandozzi 2, Katie Croghan 1, Danielle Ward 1, Hillary Estrada 1, Hannah Croghan, Annika Bergesen, Kelsey Klatt. 
UC Irvine Saves: Jillian Yocum.

Records: UC Irvine 19-5, overall, 2-0 in Big West; UCSB 16-12 overall, 1-1 in Big West.