No. 15 Gauchos Open Season With Win Over Cal State Bakersfield

Rachel Nelson
Rachel Nelson

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – The No. 15 UC Santa Barbara women's water polo team (1-0) opened its season with a 13-10 victory over Cal State Bakersfield at Hillmans Aquatic Center on Friday afternoon. Senior Rachel Nelson led the team with four goals to help the Gauchos offensively.

The Gauchos came out ready to play in their first game of the season.  Nelson took the first goal of the game only 30 seconds in. Samantha Murphy made an outstanding first impression in the pool with three goals, one scored halfway through the first quarter.

The Roadrunners were able to get one past senior goalkeeper Ruth Milne with 1:47 left in the quarter, but Nelson responded with another goal quickly helping the Gauchos end the quarter up, 3-1.

UCSB posted four goals in the second quarter while limiting the Roadrunners to only two goals. The Gaucho goals came from Nelson, sophomore Lauren Martin, and two more from Murphy. The Gauchos came out of the half leading, 7-3.

CSUB responded powerfully after halftime, scoring two goals within two minutes. Freshman Bryn Hudson was able to contribute shortly after with another goal for the Gauchos. Jade Wentz Fitzgerald helped the Gauchos offensively when she scored two goals in the last three minutes of the quarter. CSUB tallied up two more goals before the quarter ended, but the Gauchos held onto the lead at 10-7.

In the last quarter of the game, the Roadrunners garnered three more goals, but were not able to surpass the Gauchos who racked up three goals of their own from Nelson, Martin, and senior Nancy Ruano. UCSB secured their first win of the season, 13-10.

The Gauchos will be back in action tomorrow morning at Loyola Marymount where they face Cal St. San Bernardino at 9:30 am in a neutral site contest.

                     1      2      3      4      Final
UCSB    3    4    3    3    13
CSUB 1 2 4 3 10

UCSB Goals: Rachel Nelson 4, Samantha Murphy 3, Jade Wentz Fitzgerald 2, Lauren Martin 2, Nancy Ruano 1, Bryn Hudson 1
UCSB Saves: Ruth Milne 7

CSUB Goals: Browning 5, McKenzie 2, De Leon 1, Shead 1, Shelby 1
CSUB Saves: Bayer 10