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The No. 13 UCSB women’s water polo team dropped two matches over the weekend to Big West opponents No. 6 UC Irvine and No. 9 Long Beach State, 11-5 and 9-5, respectively.
The losses end the Gauchos’ three-game winning streak, heading into their last regular season contest. Santa Barbara now sits on a 19-12 overall record and holds a tie with Cal State Northridge for the fifth seed in the Big West standings.
The Gauchos began their two-game road trip Saturday with a rematch against Irvine. The last matchup between the teams went to the Anteaters, 14-10, who once again fended off UCSB with a strong defensive performance.
After matching goals in a 2-2 first quarter, Santa Barbara was held to just three goals for the remainder of the match. Irvine would build a 6-2 lead into the half and scored five goals in the final quarters to propel itself to a victory.
Freshman attacker Bryn Hudson accounted for three of UCSB’s goals in the game while senior goalkeeper Ruth Milne tallied a robust 12 saves for the Gauchos.
Sunday’s game featured another rematch against Long Beach State, which previously downed Santa Barbara in their last contest, 9-7. The 49ers would again emerge victorious in this matchup after a late breakaway paved the way to a LBSU win.
After trailing 2-0 in the first quarter, UCSB rallied to stay close at the half, 5-4, after a back-and-forth second period in which senior attacker Shelby Haroldson captured her 100th career goal as a Gaucho.
Santa Barbara scored a late goal in the 3rd quarter to counter two more goals by the 49ers. However they shut out the Gauchos in the 4th quarter to pull off their sixth win in seven games.
The UCSB women’s water polo squad will face No. 14 Cal State Northridge in its final regular season game this Friday. The outcome of the match will determine Santa Barbara’s final seeding in the Big West Tournament at the end of this month.
This article is an online exclusive and did not appear in the print edition of the Daily Nexus.