Despite an outstanding game from sophomore utility Gillian Morgan, the #12 UCSB women’s water polo team fell short in the fourth quarter and lost to #17 Long Beach State 8-7 on Wednesday at Campus Pool. The victory ended Long Beach’s seven-game losing streak.
The Gauchos (13-14 overall, 2-5 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation) began the first quarter by winning the sprint, but the 49ers (7-12, 3-5 MPSF) scored first with two consecutive goals by junior two-meter Dayna Wawrzynski and senior two-meter Ashley Heaslip. The Gauchos responded back with a lob shot from Morgan and a skip shot from freshman attacker Taylor Byrne to tie the game.
The 49ers scored again to take the lead, but Morgan netted her second goal with 12 seconds remaining to even the score. In the second period, senior defender Aimee Stachowski stole the ball from the Long Beach defense and scored to give UCSB its first lead of the game. The 49ers quickly fought back and scored off a lob-shot from Heaslip, which tied the game. Long Beach took the lead when senior attacker Marina Cannetti scored two back-to-back goals, one from a UCSB turnover and the second from an outside shot. Morgan earned a hat trick when she scored with 12 seconds remaining, with assistance from freshman center Lizzie Rouleau to end the first half with the score 6-5.
The Gauchos started the second half with a fourth goal from Morgan to tie the game. Sophomore defender Amanda Tipton converted a six-on-five play to give UCSB the lead 7-6. After the goal from Tipton, there were three ejections and both teams remained scoreless until the fourth quarter.
Long Beach’s senior driver Megan Winchell opened the final quarter with a goal to even the score yet again. Morgan had a chance to score her fifth goal of the game, but 49ers goalie Kim Hayes blocked Morgan’s five-meter penalty shot. Long Beach captured the victory when senior driver Christina Wensman netted the game-winning goal off a five-meter shot to make the final score 8-7.
Santa Barbara’s losing streak reached two yesterday when #11 Loyola Marymount took down the Gauchos 9-7. Senior utility Stacia Peterson scored a game-high four goals to lead the Lions to victory after a 17-3 thumping at the hands of UCLA in their last match.
Fellow senior utility Katie Hicks scored just before halftime to give LMU (18-5) a 4-3 lead. The Lions increased their advantage to 7-4 to start the final quarter. Santa Barbara’s offense finally got rolling – netting three goals in the period – but it was not enough as Loyola prevailed.