No. 3 USC Overpowers No. 12 UC Santa Barbara, 17-6

April 20, 2007

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The No. 3 USC women's water polo team left its mark on UCSB's Campus Pool on Friday evening. The Trojans outscored the Gauchos in three periods and built up a 9-1 first-half lead that Santa Barbara could not overcome. Despite matching the Trojans' five-goal third period, the Gauchos lost the game, 17-6. UCSB drops to 14-18 overall and 2-9 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation while USC improves to 18-4 and 10-2 in the MPSF.

"I thought there were a lot of great moments of water polo today," UCSB Head Coach Danielle Altman said. "We had some great looks on the counter attacks and our front court defense was solid. We also had some good looks on our six-on-fives as well."

The Trojans won the first sprint of the game and scored the match's first three goals as well to open the first period. USC senior driver Patty Cardenas was the first to score 3:03 minutes into the game and freshman driver Alexandra Kiss followed suit with back-to-back goals.

Down 3-0, the Gauchos got on the board with two minutes remaining in the first period with a goal from senior utility ZiZi Clark to bring the Gauchos within one, 3-1. Solid defense kept either team scoring for the next two minutes until Cardenas netted her second goal of the game with 13 seconds remaining.

USC dominated the second quarter, outscoring the Gauchos 5-0. Senior driver Brittany Hayes and sophomore driver Michelle Stein scored once each within the first two minutes of the second stanza. Freshman driver Kally Lucas put one through with 3:22 remaining to bring USC's lead to 7-1.

Senior two-meter Marina Mayer contributed two consecutive goals for the Trojans--a skip shot with a man advantage and another with an open look. Down 9-1 with a minute to play, UCSB junior goalie Jenny Gonzales had a steal but the Gaucho offense could not capitalize and the Trojans went into intermission with an eight-goal lead.

Santa Barbara won its first sprint of the game to kick off the third quarter and scored its first goal since the first period. Senior center Sarah Kovach scored with a powerful shot on goal 37 seconds into the period, bringing the score to 9-2. Defense kept things quiet for the next two minutes until Mayer lofted a shot into goal for the Trojans to bring their lead back to eight, 10-2.

The Gauchos responded 20 seconds later with a goal from freshman utility Christie Clark, which she put through from beyond the seven-meter mark. USC posted three consecutive goals from freshman utility Forel Davies and Kiss. Davies scored and Kiss followed in a minute's time. Kiss then dished out an assist to Davies for another goal to bring the score to 13-3.

UCSB freshman attacker Alisha Khan scored next with two goals spread across two minutes to bring the Gauchos within eight, 13-5. Junior driver Miranda Nichols put another goal between USC and UCSB, 14-5. UCSB sophomore driver Amanda Tipton scored for the Gauchos with one second remaining in the period to cut USC's lead to eight, 14-6.

Santa Barbara won the fourth-quarter sprint but it was USC that got on the board first with a goal from sophomore two-meter Kami Craig in the first minute of play. The Trojans scored again, this time off a goal from Nichols, to bring the score to 16-6. USC's junior driver Alison Riddle scored the last goal of the game with 2:12 remaining to give USC its largest lead of 11, 17-6.

Santa Barbara will again play host Saturday for its mini tournament. The Gauchos square off against MPSF-opponent Cal State Northridge at 12 p.m. and Chapman at 4:15 p.m. The Gauchos will have a senior day ceremony before the Chapman match-up. All games will take place at UCSB's Campus Pool.

Score by period 1 2 3 4 F
USC 4 5 5 3 17
UC Santa Barbara 1 0 5 0 6

USC goals: Alexandra Kiss 3, Marina Mayer 3, Forel Davis 2, Miranda Nichols 2, Patty Cardenas 2, Kami Craig 1, Brittany Hayes 1, Kally Lucas 1, Allison Riddle 1, Michelle Stein 1
UC Santa Barbara goals: Alisha Khan 2, ZiZi Clark 1, Sarah Kovach 1, Amanda Tipton 1

USC saves: Whitney Morgan 11
UC Santa Barbara saves: Jenny Gonzales 8

UC Santa Barbara steals: Jenny Gonzales 2