10th-Ranked UCSB Women's Water Polo Drops Home Opener to No. 1 UCLA, 10-7

Feb. 5, 2006

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The 10th ranked UC Santa Barbara women's water polo team fired the opening salvo and played a spirited second half Sunday at Campus Pool, but dropped its 2006 home opener 10-7 to No. 1 UCLA.

The Gauchos fell to 2-1 overall and 0-1 in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation play. Meanwhile the defending national champion Bruins improved to 3-0 and 2-0 in the MPSF.

The first goal was scored by Gaucho sophomore attacker Lindsay Knott with 3:09 remaining in the first quarter. Monique Blanchard answered back and began a seven-goal scoring streak for UCLA that ended with Courtney Mathewson's goal with 28 seconds left in the second quarter. Kelly Rulon tallied three consecutive goals during the aforementioned scoring run. Alaina Whitaker ended Santa Barbara's offensive drought just before the buzzer, bringing the score to 7-2 UCLA at halftime.

The Gauchos came back in the second half, scoring five out of the eight goals. Knott found the back of the cage just two minutes into the third quarter, and the home team pulled within four goals on two other occasions, but the Bruins thwarted each rally. UCSB ended the fourth quarter with consecutive goals from junior ZiZi Clark and Whitaker to pull within 10-7, but it was too little, too late.

The Gauchos return to action Feb. 11 and 12 at the UCSD Invitational in La Jolla, Calif.

      			         1	2	3	4	Total
UCLA	 			         3	4	1	2	10
UC Santa Barbara		1	1	2	3	7

UCLA Goals: Rulon (3), Kristina Kunkel (2), Blanchard, Domanic, Gandy, Krause, Mathewson UCSB Goal: Knott (2), Whitaker (2), Antonsen, Clark, Carkin UCLA Saves: Feher (4) UCSB Saves: Redaelli (6)