SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Saturday, UC Santa Barbara would start off the Triton Invitational at UC San Diego ranked No. 13 in the nation, but would leave the day splitting their doubleheader. In a close one, UCSB fell short against its first opponent No. 19 San Diego State with a 7-4 loss. However, later in the evening the Gauchos would level out the day by completing a 10-4 win over Sonoma State.
In the first quarter of the San Diego Stat match, lead Gaucho scorer Kate Pipkin found the net with the first goal of the match inside the first minute of play. During the second minute, the Aztecs would answer back with a goal from their utility senior, Lizzy Bilz.
The second quarter would be the decisive quarter of the game, and unfortunately for the Gauchos, it went all the Aztecs way. San Diego State would score unanswered netters in the wake of the Gaucho's top ranked defense. Goal #2 came from Courtney Jarvis promptly within a minute, thirty into the quarter. Back-to-back goals in the fourth minute from Aztecs Hannah Carillo and Emily Bennett gave SDSU the 4-1 lead.
From then on, the Gauchos battled, but even with another goal from Pipkin and two more from Sarah Snyder and Sarah Krieser, the Aztecs would hold off the Gauchos rally.
Thankfully for the Gauchos, match number two of the day against Sonoma State would have a different outcome. Within twenty seconds of the start of the match, UCSB redshirt junior Annie Mortimer would score giving the Gauchos a very early lead. Moments later, Sea Wolf JoJo Williams would even the contests answering back almost right away. Annie Mortimer would again find the net though with her second goal of the match in as many minutes. Later on a power play, UCSB junior center Emily Martin put the Gauchos ahead by two.
As the game progressed, UCSB would take absolute control by jumping out to a commanding 8-1 lead in the 2nd quarter before Sonoma St. would score again. Two more goals would come in the third quarter from the Gauchos, but in the fourth the Sea Wolves would fight back scoring two of their own.
To their credit, the underdogs from Sonoma fought hard, but the large hole dug in the second quarter would undo them. The final score 10-4 UCSB. UCSB would finish the day with an overall record of 8-4 on the season.
With a split on the day, the Gauchos find themselves in undesired territory. With the Triton Invitational being a true tournament, wins and losses do factor in advancing, bracketing, and placing overall in the tournament. Even with two wins Sunday, the highest the Gauchos can place is 9th overall.
Tomorrow, UCSB will play No. 11 Long Beach St. at 10:40 a.m. to begin the day. The winner of the match will compete for 9th place at 5:20 p.m., the loser of the match will play earlier at 4:00 p.m. at Canyonview pool, where all matches, regardless of outcome, will be played at by the Gauchos.