Despite coming into the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation tournament with momentum, the #14 women’s water polo team fell to #5 San Diego State 13-11 at Arizona State’s Mona Plummer Aquatics Center on Thursday. The Gauchos will go on to play #13 Pacific today after the Tigers lost in the opening round to #4 Hawaii 22-8.
The Gauchos (15-20 overall, 2-10 in the MPSF) kept the game very close in the first half, but the Aztecs (25-7, 8-4 MPSF) secured the win in the third period when they scored five goals, each from a different player, to build a 10-8 lead. UCSB had started the game on the right track, countering the Aztec’s two goals in the first quarter with three for the Gauchos. In the second period, however, the opposite was seen as the Aztecs scored three and UCSB two to end the first half tied at five.
In the second half, the Aztecs took complete control, scoring five goals in the third period. The Gauchos managed to find some weaknesses in the Aztec defense, though, and scored three to end the third at 10-8. Both the Gaucho and Aztec offenses scored three goals in the fourth, but the Aztec’s third period scoring frenzy put them on top to clinch the victory. For the Gauchos, senior utility Zizi Clark, junior attacker Lindsay Knott, senior center Sarah Kovach and senior defender Aimee Stachowski each scored two goals. Freshman attacker Taylor Byrne and sophomore defenders Kaitlin Kubas and Amanda Tipton each contributed one goal.