IRVINE, Calif. - One day after a tough opening day loss to Arizona State sending them to the consolation bracket of the 2019 Barbara Kalbus Invitational, the UC Santa Barbara women's water polo team came up huge on Saturday with two wins, first against No. 25 San Diego State, then against No. T-17 UC San Diego.
In the first match, UCSB (13-4) had a great performance from junior utility Sarah Snyder whose four goals helped propel the Gauchos to an 11-5 victory.
Following that, Santa Barbara moved on to face UC San Diego for a chance to move on and play for the ninth spot in the tournament. Thanks to a great team performance, the Gauchos won a close 8-6 match and now will move on to face No. 7 UCI, the hosts of this invite, on Sunday.
San Diego State
From the beginning, the Gauchos were all over the Aztecs (3-7) as they took a commanding 4-0 lead in the first and never looked back. Senior Kate Pipkin provided two of the four first-quarter goals while the others were courtesy of Sarah Snyder and her sister, freshman utility, Caitlyn Snyder.
Slowly but surely, however, the Aztecs battled back. By the third quarter, SDSU actually had UCSB against the ropes just a bit cutting the lead down to 5-3.
From there, Santa Barbara pulled away using a strong 6-0 run that would put to rest any chance of a San Diego State comeback. Five of those goals would come in the third frame alone with Sarah Snyder scoring two of them. She would add the final, and only, goal the Gauchos scored in the fourth period.
Caitlyn Snyder would also add another goal during the 6-0 run to be one of only three UCSB athletes to have multiple goals. UCSB did not allow any single SDSU player to score more than one goal.
Following the 6-0 run, UCSB was up 11-3. SDSU would score the final two goals but to no avail as Santa Barbara got the 11-5 win.
UC San Diego
Much like the San Diego State game, UCSB jumped on the Tritons early and took a nice 4-2 lead after the first quarter with one goal coming from Caitlyn Snyder.
From there, the pace of play really slowed down. Santa Barbara scored one in the second quarter and held the UCSD to none, finding themselves down with a three-goal lead at the break, 5-3.
In the third quarter, however, UCSB was held to no goals while UC San Diego managed to push one through cutting the lead down to just two again heading into the final frame.
In the fourth, the Gauchos got goals from three players, junior utility Kate Coski, and from freshman attackers Amanda Legaspi and Julia Santos proving to be enough for them as they held UC San Diego to three goals as well giving UCSB the 8-6 win.
No. 9 UCSB will take on No. 7 UC Irvine at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 24 at the Aquatic Complexes in a battle for ninth place at the Barbara Kalbus Invite.