No. 17 Gauchos Grab First Big West Victory

Sarah Snyder shined for UCSB with four goals in the Gauchos first conference win this season over CSUN on Saturday. (Photo by Eric Isaacs)
Sarah Snyder shined for UCSB with four goals in the Gauchos first conference win this season over CSUN on Saturday. (Photo by Eric Isaacs)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – The No. 17 UC Santa Barbara women's water polo team picked up its first Big West Conference victory of the season with a 9-5 wire-to-wire win over No. 20 Cal State Northridge on Saturday afternoon at Campus Pool.

With the win, the Gauchos improve to 14-11 overall and 1-2 in conference play while CSUN falls to 15-14, 0-3.

Big West sprints leader Mollie Simmons continued her dominance by sweeping all four sprints on Saturday, helping UCSB get off to a quick start with the opening possession.

Sophomore utility Sarah Snyder helped the Gauchos off to an even quicker start with the first two goals of the game, and three scores in the first period, highlighted by a difficult backhanded shot.

Right before the end of the opening frame, Sarah Kreiser found Shannon Moran, who proceeded to find the back of the net to give UCSB an early 4-1 lead. CSUN responded with a goal of its own to make it a 4-2 game after one.

The second period proved to be even higher scoring than the first with seven more goals between the two teams, all seven of which came within a three-minute span.

Natalie Selin started the scoring barrage for the Gauchos and was followed up by Kate Pipkin's first of the game on a 6-on-5 opportunity to put UCSB up 6-2.

The scoring continued to go back-and-forth for the remainder of the period, with Kreiser and Simmons converting for UCSB.

The second half featured just one goal, an impressive turn-around floater from Snyder, while the Gauchos defense ramped up its pressure and held the Matadors without a goal.

Becca Buck was a big part of that with six saves and two steals in front of the cage. Kenzi Snyder was in goal in the first half for UCSB and finished with four saves.

S. Snyder led the way with four goals while Kreiser, Simmons, Pipkin, Selin and Moran all finished with one apiece. Pipkin and Kreiser also added a pair of assists while Pipkin snagged three steals for a Gauchos unit that finished with 13 for the game.

Niki Van Vugt finished with 14 saves for CSUN.

UCSB has two more home games remaining on its schedule, concluding the regular season next weekend with games against Hawai'i on Saturday, Apr. 14 and UC Davis on Sunday, Apr. 15. Both games will start at 12:00 p.m. at Campus Pool.

UCSB 9, CSUN 5

 

1

2

3

4

Final

CSUN

2

3

0

0

5

UC Santa Barbara

4

4

1

0

9


CSUN Goals: Yule, Dempsey, Fairchild, Hovanesian, Sanchez
CSUN Saves: Van Vugt 14

UCSB Goals: S. Snyder 4, Kreiser, Simmons, Pipkin, Selin, Moran
UCSB Saves: Buck 6, K. Snyder 4