SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – UC Santa Barbara (9-11) split a pair of home matches with a 5-4 win over No. 19 UC San Diego followed by an 11-9 loss to CSU Bakersfield.
UCSB will be traveling to the UC Davis Invitational this weekend in preparation for the start in conference play. The Gauchos will open the tournament with the host Aggies on Friday at 4 p.m.
UC SAN DIEGO
In their first home game since their season-opening tournament, the UC Santa Barbara women's water polo team faced No. 19 UC San Diego at Campus Pool. The morning match up saw a close score to the very end, as UCSB came away with a 5-4 win.
The Gauchos were tremendously alert throughout the entire game as they had a team total of seven steals and five saves from goalkeeper Mackenzie Brokaw. Scoring the team's five goals were Bryn Hudson, Samantha Murphy, Taylor Shore, Brenna Thomas, and Sophie Trabucco.
The contest began with aggressive play on each side, but it was the Gauchos who got on the board at the 5:39 mark. After a Samantha Murphy shot deflected off the crossbar, Thomas quickly recovered the ball and delivered it inside the right corner of the net. Three minutes later, teammate Trabucco fired a fast one past Triton goalkeeper Courtney Miller to make the score 2-0. UCSD would answer back in the last thirty seconds of the quarter when Laurel Kistler took her aim towards a corner that Brokaw narrowly saved.
The remainder of the first half consisted of both teams combining for a handful of shots that narrowly missed the net or bounced off the crossbar. Brokaw continued her strong performance by completing saves on different occasions, whether using her hands or entire body. It was not until the closing minute that UCSD tied the game up 2-2 with a goal by Jolene Guiliana.
Determined to take the lead again the Gauchos entered the third quarter with a similar sharp style of play. Murphy would put her team back up 3-2 in the second minute but Lauren Boyer scored only a couple of minutes later to make it an even game. Fighting her way past a group of Triton players, Shore ended the scoring in the quarter with her own goal. Once more Brokaw had an equalizer-preventing save as time expired to carry the momentum to the last quarter.
Although UCSB came away with the ball first in the final eight minutes of play, UCSD forced a Gaucho turnover that led to Guiliana's second goal. With the score fluctuating, the remaining shots taken by each team created a tense atmosphere. The Tritons took their last threatening shot in the fourth minute but yet again Brokaw was swift to make the save. Following multiple passes between Gaucho players, Hudson positioned herself from the right side of the pool and hurled the game-winning goal for UCSB to produce the final score of 5-4.
No. 17 UC Santa Barbara (9-10) fell short in a comeback effort against CSU Bakersfield (7-7) at the Campus Pool on Sunday afternoon. After starting off slow, the Gauchos made a run in the second half, but could never fully get over the hump trailing most of the match and ultimately losing 11-9.
Camila Schafer led the Gauchos with three goals, Jenna Solberg added two goals, and Taylor Shore, Sophie Trabucco, Tess Wardle and Samantha Murphy added one score apiece.
About a minute into the match, Kristen Jenson scored for Bakersfield to put the Roadrunners up early. A minute and a half later, Jada Helberg scored with a turnaround shot from in close putting Bakersfield up by two. Camila Schafer quickly responded for UCSB scoring from the right side bringing the Gauchos within one. Thirty seconds later, Katie Benson delivered a quick goal from the left side for Bakersfield to put her team back up by two.
Early in the second quarter, Solberg skipped a goal past Tyra Brittany to pull the Gauchos back within one. Though, with roughly three and a half minutes left in the second quarter, Bridgette Souza scored from straight on again to extend the Roadrunners' lead to 5-2 going into halftime.
Out of the break, UCSB and CSUB traded goals before the Gauchos ended the quarter on a 3-0 run bringing themselves within striking distance going into the fourth. The Gauchos scored back-to-back goals within 30 seconds of each other followed by another with 29 seconds left in the third to bring themselves within one going into the final quarter of play.
Both teams traded goals throughout most of the fourth quarter until Santa Barbara made a late run scoring twice to pull within one once again. With 2:12 to play, Camila Schafer scored from straight on to make the score 10-8. Taylor Shore then scored for the Gauchos from close in with about a minute to play giving her team a chance, but Bakersfield held on to finish ahead 11-9.