IRVINE, Calif. - For the third time this season, No. 9 UC Santa Barbara found themselves against No. 8 Arizona State (9-3). The teams split the first two matches, and with the third possibly being the last meeting of the regular season, the winner of this one would have the last laugh.
Unfortunately for the Gauchos (11-4), they came up just short losing 9-6 in their first match of the Barbara Kalbus Invitational.
In UCSB's first meeting against Arizona State, which resulted in a win, the Gauchos were able to play a tremendous offensive game scoring 11 goals which proved to be enough. However, in both losses, Santa Barbara combined to score just 11 as well.
In this game, ASU jumped out of the gates and commanded the game. Rather quickly, UCSB found themselves down 3-0 in the first period until senior utility Kate Pipkin finally put one through for her team. ASU would add one more before the end of the of the first and would take a 4-1 lead.
In the second period, both teams each traded goals meaning the Sun Devils still had a three-score advantage heading into the break.
The first score of the third period, however, belonged to the Gauchos as Pipkin in her second goal. Both teams would trade scores one more time before the end of the period giving ASU a 6-4 lead.
In the fourth and final frame, Arizona State scored first, but goals by Pipkin (who finished with three) and junior utility Sarah Snyder put the Gauchos within one score with over five minutes remaining in the game.
UCSB looked for the equalizer, but instead, ASU was able to add two more goals and put away the Gauchos 9-6 when all was said and done.
With the loss, UCSB will play at 8 a.m. against No. 25 SDSU on Saturday, Feb. 23.