The #12 UCSB women’s water polo team won just one of three games this weekend, defeating Pacific 13-6, but losing to #4 Cal 10-7 and #8 UC Davis 9-5. Senior center Sarah Kovach had an impressive showing against Pacific, recording a UCSB single-game record of seven goals while netting nine total goals on the weekend.
“We played very well, and I was excited for [Kovach]. She did a great job, and she is a girl on the team that is willing to score at every opportunity she gets. She is an outstanding player,” Head Coach Danielle Altman said. “We are going to work on creating more intensity in the game and work on defense and counterattacks.”
Kovach led UCSB (7-8 overall, 1-2 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation) with two goals against Davis (11-4). Senior utility ZiZi Clark delivered a powerful lob that went straight into the Aggies’ net to start the game. Sophomore defender Amanda Tipton delivered a goal from four meters to bring the Gauchos’ lead to 2-0. Davis responded by scoring off of a penalty shot by Laura Uribe, but Kovach answered for the Gauchos with a goal of her own. At halftime the Gauchos were up 4-3, but the Aggies responded in the second half with two additional goals from Uribe and three unanswered goals in the fourth quarter to secure the victory.
“We played a great game until the fourth quarter. We are working as a team to get four great quarters instead of one, two and three good quarters and one not-so-good quarter,” Altman said. “Overall, we played well and the [Pacific] game was a nice conference win.”
The Gauchos bounced back from their weekend-opening loss and handily defeated Pacific (3-8, 0-4 MPSF) 13-6. Kovach had an amazing game, scoring seven goals for the Gauchos. Kovach netted three goals within four minutes of play and sophomore defender Kaitlin Kubas scored at the 2:38 mark as well to give the Gauchos a 4-0 lead. Senior attacker Allie Carkin scored the only goal of the second quarter, when both defenses were solid, to give the Gauchos a 5-1 lead. Pacific responded with a goal from Virginia McConnell, but the Gauchos went on a 3-0 run with two goals from Kovach and one from ZiZi Clark. Freshman utility Christie Clark also netted two goals and Tipton and Kovach scored one apiece to close out the conference victory.
After netting the game’s first goal against Cal (6-6, 2-2 MPSF) on Sunday, the Gauchos could not hold off the Golden Bear attack. UCSB held a two-point lead in the second quarter, but Cal went on a four-goal run to lead 5-3. Tipton and sophomore utility Gillian Morgan each scored a goal to open the second half, tying the game at 6, before the Golden Bears went on a 3-0 run to put the game out of reach. The Gauchos and the Bears each scored a final goal in the fourth period, leaving UCSB with its second loss of the weekend.