The #12 UCSB women’s water polo team was outscored by five goals in the third quarter of its conference-opening match against host #14 Long Beach State Saturday, costing them the game by a score of 10-6.
The Gauchos’ (4-3 overall, 0-1 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation) early second half struggles led to their third straight loss after starting the season with four straight wins.
Santa Barbara started strong against the 49ers (5-2, 1-0 MPSF), managing to keep the game within one through the first two quarters of play. Senior two-meter Dayna Wawrzynski provided the early offense for the 49ers by scoring two first-half goals. Offensively, the Gauchos were thwarted by a hot goalie, as UCSB fired eight first-half shots on target, but Long Beach State’s freshman goalie Kristen Straiger stepped up big to make six saves.
Starting the second half up by only a one-goal margin of 3-2, the 49ers took over in the third quarter. Wawrzynski capped off her scoring in the third by netting her third goal of the game to complete the hat trick. The two squads traded penalty shots before sophomore two-meter Branwyn Lee scored twice en route to a six-goal outburst by Long Beach State.
After single goals by junior utility Gillian Morgan, freshman utility Kathryn Nelson, and sophomore utility Christie Clark in the first three frames, the Gauchos stormed back with three goals to make a game of it in the fourth. Morgan added her second of the match, while sophomore center Lizzie Rouleau and senior attacker Lindsay Knott piled on a goal apiece. However, three in the fourth was not enough to overcome the six spot posted by the 49ers in the third, as the Gauchos dug themselves too big a hole.
UCSB continues MPSF play in Irvine Friday at 3 p.m. to take on the Anteaters.