ROHNERT PARK, Calif. – An early barrage of goals set the No. 9 UC Santa Barbara women's water polo team up for its largest win of the season on Thursday at Dr. G. Edward Rudloff Pool, as the Gauchos defeated the Seawolves 22-6.
A trio of Gaucho hat tricks led by Sarah Kreiser's four goals saw UCSB (18-5) win its fifth straight game for the second time this year, improving to a perfect 5-0 mark in the month of March. It was Kreiser's third hat trick of the year, and the first time she has reached four goals.
Also putting up hat tricks were freshmen Caitlyn Snyder and Amanda Legaspi. Snyder now has seven goals over her last two outings, while Legaspi reached the three-goal mark for the seventh time this season. Kelly Murphy, Sarah Snyder, Kate Pipkin and Shannon Moran all scored twice as well.
Caitlyn Snyder got things started with two straight goals out of the gates, scoring on UCSB's first possession and again just two minutes later. The Gauchos scored four more times before the end of the first, capped by a Sarah Owens goal with six seconds left.
The younger Snyder would secure her hat trick with a goal to open the second, putting UCSB up 7-0. The Seawolves would get on the board with a pair of goals, but the Gauchos reeled off five more before the halftime break. Moran and Sarah Snyder got on the board with goals separated by 60 seconds midway through the period. Once again, UCSB's final possession would produce a goal, as Legaspi tucked one away with 15 seconds before the halftime break to put her side up 11-2.
While SSU would have its best eight-minute stretch in the third, UCSB still won the period 5-3. Murphy's goal with 1:13 to go was her second in two minutes, sending the Gauchos into the final frame leading 16-5.
After scoring 15 goals on four occasions heading into Thursday, Santa Barbara's 22 goals against the Seawolves set a new season-high. The Gauchos will look to complete a perfect month this Saturday when they travel to face No. 11 UC Davis in their second contest of Big West play.