The UCSB women’s water polo team was able to fend off the Lions for one quarter, but Loyola Marymount’s roar proved too much in the end.

#6 Santa Barbara could not hold onto a 3-1 lead after the first quarter, eventually falling to #10 Loyola Marymount 5-3 in the final home match of the 2001 season Wednesday afternoon. The Gauchos jumped all over the Lions in the first two minutes of the contest, while senior driver Cathy Holmberg and junior two-meter woman Kelley Tiffany scored two quick goals at the 5:15 and 4:51 mark, respectively.

The Lions countered with their first goal of the afternoon scored by Orla Stewart at the 2:24 mark. Tiffany responded by putting in her second goal of the game at 2:11 to give Santa Barbara a 3-1 lead.

Loyola Marymount slowly started plugging away at UCSB with a superb display of defense. The Lions scored only one goal in the second quarter, an early burst from Lucy Windes. But more importantly, Loyola Marymount held the Gauchos scoreless. The Lions then scored two goals in the third quarter to capture the lead on two goals from Jaime Kroeze. Kroeze propelled her team with the game’s last three goals, padding the lead with her final goal at 5:38 left in the game.

Lion goalkeeper Devon Courtney had a field day snuffing out any Gaucho comebacks, accumulating six saves after allowing two quick goals to get by her. Gaucho goalie Yvonne Conard also had a fine day, saving five shots.

Santa Barbara currently stands at 12-13 and 4-4 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. Loyola Marymount upped its record to 18-6.

UCSB will challenge #1 Stanford at Palo Alto on April 20 at 7 p.m. The Gauchos will then battle at San Jose against #7 San Jose State on April 21 at noon to wrap up their season.

-Nexus Staff Report