The #16 UCSB women’s water polo team dropped both games on its weekend road trip against #15 Cal State Northridge and CSU Bernardino.
The Gauchos fell behind the Matadors early in their Mountain Pacific Sports Federation finale and never could quite catch up before losing 12-5. UCSB (5-18 overall, 1-11 MPSF) had little time to settle on the loss before turning around and playing a non-conference match against San Bernardino at 1 p.m. The Gauchos dropped the second game of the double header as well by a score of 13-12 in overtime.
UCSB started the day eager to build on momentum and positive play over recent weeks. For a while, it looked as if that was a great possibility when it headed into halftime, with the Matadors down by only two and very much still in the game. However, Northridge (12-17 overall, 2-9 MPSF) took the game over in the second half and won the game going away outscoring the Gauchos 6-1 in the final two quarters of play.
The Gauchos had the lead late in game two, but were unable to hold a late two-goal lead in the fourth quarter. Bernardino managed to tie the score at twelve with just minutes to play, and were the only team to score in overtime to secure the victory.
The Gauchos went ahead early against the Coyotes (17-16 overall), outscoring San Bernardino 4-2 after the first quarter of play. As she did in every quarter of regulation, sophomore center Lizzie Rouleau found the back of the cage to pace the Gaucho attack. The lead would be short lived as the second quarter scoring was a mirror image of the first period scoring, and the two squads entered halftime tied at six.
The Coyotes outscored the Gauchos in the third frame 4-3, meaning a UCSB comeback would be needed for a win. The Gauchos responded early in the fourth by scoring three unanswered goals to jump out to a 12-10 lead with a few minutes to play. However, the Coyotes mounted a comeback to force overtime and win in the extra frame.
Rouleau was the standout Gaucho on the day by scoring five of the 17 UCSB goals on Saturday. Senior co-captain Jenny Gonzales posted 13 saves in the game-and-a-half she played, while junior utility Gillian Morgan, senior co-captain attacker Lindsay Knott, sophomore utility Christie Clark, freshman attacker Katie Kepner and freshman utility Kathryn Nelson all poured in two goals apiece.
UCSB is back in action next weekend in San Diego to compete in the end-of-the-year MPSF tournament.