The #12 UCSB women’s water polo team finished the weekend 2-2 at its own tournament over the weekend, beating #18 UC San Diego and #20 Cal State Bakersfield but losing to #10 UC Irvine and #11 San Diego State.
[media-credit id=20125 align=”alignleft” width=”250″][/media-credit]“The teams that we lost to are ranked ahead of us so we just tried to go ahead and do what we could to win,” utility Kathryn Nelson said. “We made some mistakes that we won’t make later in the season. And the second game of the day is always difficult.”
UCSB is now 6-3 after beginning the season 3-0. Over the weekend, the team began each day with a win and ended each day with a loss. UCSB was led by Nelson, sophomore attacker Shelby Haroldson and senior utility Christie Clark, who netted six, seven and six goals, respectively. Nelson leads the team with 13 on the season.
“[My success comes] from my team,” Nelson said. “They give really good passes and create opportunities for me.”
Sophomore goalie Ruth Milne also played well, recording at least 12 saves in three of the four weekend matches.
In the team’s 9-5 loss to Irvine in the final game of the tournament final game of the tournament, the Anteaters were awarded a penalty shot 20 seconds into the match that propelled them to a 3-0 lead by the end of the first quarter. Irvine scored again 22 seconds into the second quarter before UCSB responded with two goals of their own, including a goal by Dreyer after she grabbed the ball as it rebounded off the goalie. However, UCSB was unable to gain enough momentum to hold off the Anteater attack, resulting in the loss.
“It was just the sixth game of the weekend and we were tired,” Nelson said. “They came at us really hard from the beginning and maybe we weren’t expecting it.”
In Sunday morning’s 8-7 win over UCSD, UCSB senior utility Clair Buchanan scored twice in the first three minutes. The Gauchos scored three more times in the third quarter and two more times in the fourth, preventing a comeback.
Against San Diego State in Saturday night’s 13-9 loss, UCSB struggled defensively in the second and third quarters. At one point, the Aztecs were up 8-3, before the Gauchos scored three goals. The goals UCSB scored in the fourth were still not enough to surpass the Aztec scoring threat.
“They have some great individual players and they beat us on one on one plays,” Head Coach Wolf Wigo said. “I think our players were a little tired.”
In the team’s first game of the tournament – a 10-5 win over Bakersfield – UCSB scored five goals in the second quarter and enjoyed a 6-2 lead at the half that the team never gave up.
“The first period we hit a lot of bars,” Wigo said. “I thought we were playing well. That just gave us our confidence.”
La Jolla’s Triton Invitational, a two-day tournament –kicks off on Feb. 12 and ends on Feb. 13.