Pipkin's Buzzer-Beating Winner Highlights Day One of Triton Invitational

Kate Pipkin (Photo by Jeff Liang)
Kate Pipkin (Photo by Jeff Liang)

LA JOLLA, Calif. – The No. 7 UC Santa Barbara women's water polo team pulled off a win in dramatic fashion to open its four-game slate at the Triton Invitational on Saturday, knocking off No. 20 UC San Diego 4-3 on a buzzer-beating goal by Kate Pipkin. The Gauchos would fall to No. 6 UC Irvine later in the day 11-7.

The Gauchos' first matchup of the day against the Triton Invitational hosts would be their lowest scoring game of the year. However, it would still be enough to pull off their sixth straight win, thanks to three late goals and a game-winning buzzer beater by utility Kate Pipkin.

Pipkin's five shot attempts would lead all players, but none were more important than her last of the game, as it put the Gauchos on top 4-3 with just a second left. The senior also added an assist.

After the Tritons opened the scoring midway through the first quarter, UCSB would answer a minute later. Junior Sarah Snyder scored her first of two goals on an assist by freshman Amanda Legaspi.

The second period would belong the home side, as the Tritons added two more goals, both coming from Ciara Frankie. However, those would be the last goals of the game for UCSD.

Entering the fourth quarter down 3-1, UCSB finally made another dent on the scoreboard at the 5:10 mark. Snyder secured her brace with a shot from the penalty spot, bringing the Gauchos within a goal at 3-2.

With 1:21 left on the clock, Pipkin would assist on a goal by senior Shannon Moran to bring UCSB level at 3-3. Pipkin's game-winner would soon follow, her 12th goal of the season.

Facing No. 6 UC Irvine in a late afternoon game, the Gauchos' six-game winning streak would come to an end as the Anteaters ended the game on an 11-4 run.

UCSB jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first eight minutes, with goals from Pipkin, Kate Coski and Sarah Kreiser giving the Gauchos the early advantage. However, the next seven goals would all belong to Irvine, as they took a 7-3 lead in the third quarter.

The Gauchos would get goals from Moran and Sarah Snyder before the end of the third, cutting the deficit to 7-5. Irvine went on to outscore UCSB 4-2 in the fourth, ending any chances of a late comeback. Santa Barbara's final two goals came from Legaspi and Coski. Coski led the way as the only Gaucho to score two goals in the game.

UCSB will play its final two games of the Triton Invitational tomorrow, opening up against No. 11 UC Davis.