SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – The No. 17 UC Santa Barbara women's water polo team kicked off its 2019 season on a sunny Friday morning, downing No. 24 California Baptist 14-4 in the first game of the UCSB Winter Invite.
A convincing win was in hand for the Gauchos (1-0) from the start, as they came out on fire to put up a 7-1 scoreline through one period. Santa Barbara shut out the Lancers (0-1) in the second, taking a commanding 9-1 lead into halftime. UCSB would outscore CBU 5-3 over the final two periods.
Freshman attacker Amanda Legaspi made a big splash in the first eight minutes of her collegiate career, tucking away four goals in the first quarter alone. She would finish with six goals on six shots in her Gaucho debut.
Also securing a hat trick was senior attacker Sarah Kreiser, who scored the final goal of the day with a little over two minutes remaining in the fourth. Kreiser led all players with three assists.
Four other Gauchos found the scoresheet, including 2018's top goal scorer Sarah Snyder. The junior from Fresno, Calif. put away her first of the year early on and would earn a brace on a penalty shot in the third quarter.
Kate Coski and Mollie Simmons both finished with one goal to their name. Simmons also had two assists. Freshman Sarah Owens was the second Gaucho to notch her first career goal on the day, scoring UCSB's first goal of the final frame.
Defensively, junior goalkeeper Kenzi Snyder (1-0) tallied eight first half saves with just one goal allowed. Sophomore Becca Buck took over from there, registering four second half saves. Both keepers finished with one assist.
Sophomore Amelia Meckelborg was active on defense, leading to a game-high three steals, while Coski had two.
UCSB has now won its last three season-openers by a combined score of 48-12. The Gauchos can potentially claim their third straight 2-0 start to a season with a win over Fresno State tomorrow at 2:45 p.m. Immediately after that, they will take on No. 13 Indiana at 4:00 p.m. Both games will be played at Campus Pool.