The No. 17 UCSB women’s water polo team opened its season with a 10-9 win over Cal State Monterey Bay last Thursday, bringing the season record to an even 3-3.
On Sunday the Gauchos played the final two games of the Spartan Invitational at San Jose State. UCSB jumped out to a 7-2 lead by halftime against Canadian-based Fraser Valley, and held on for a 15-10 win. In the later game, Santa Barbara faced off with No. 2 UC Berkeley. UCSB trailed all game and though they mounted a comeback in the fourth quarter, it fell short as Cal handed the Gauchos an 11-7 loss. The leading scorer for UCSB on Sunday was junior utility Bryce Winton, who notched six goals and nine throughout the tournament.
On Saturday, the Gauchos opened the tournament against No. 16 UC Davis. By halftime, Davis was up 6-3, and the Aggies put the game out of reach for the Gauchos with a 4-2 third quarter; Davis would go on to win by a final score of 12-8. UCSB fared no better in their second game of the day, which matched the Gauchos against the tournament host, No. 5 San Jose State. The Spartans were too much for UCSB to handle in the first half and were up 10-2 at the break. The Gaucho defense held the Spartans to just two goals in the second half but the offense could not make up the difference as UCSB went on to its second 12-8 loss of the day.
UCSB got its second win of the season on Friday against Santa Clara University. The defense, led by junior goalkeeper Ruth Milne, held Santa Clara to just two goals through the first three quarters, and Santa Barbara went on to take a 9-4 victory. Milne recorded six saves in the game to bring her career total to 598, which surpassed Yvonne Conard’s 595 for the most in school history.
In Thursday’s season opener against Monterey Bay, UCSB trailed 6-3 at the half, but exploded for a 6-1 third quarter en route to a 10-9 come-from-behind win.
The Gauchos will now return to Santa Barbara for a six-game home stand, beginning with two games on Friday, Jan. 27. The first game of the day will be against Arizona State University and is set to begin at noon.