No. 9 UCSB Starts Strong, But Falls to UCI in 9th-Place Game

Amelia Meckelborg (Photo by Jeff Liang)
Amelia Meckelborg (Photo by Jeff Liang)

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. – After two consecutive wins on Saturday put them in the ninth-place game at the Barbara Kalbus Invitational, the No. 9 UC Santa Barbara women's water polo team fell to No. 7 UC Irvine 11-9 on Sunday.

With just one more weekend of competition before the start of Big West play, the Gauchos now have a record of 13-5. The Anteaters improved to 10-5 with the win.

UCSB came out firing, putting up more than half of its goal total in the first quarter alone. However, Irvine wasn't shy on offense either, heading into the second quarter with four goals to the Gauchos' five. Sarah Snyder and Amanda Legaspi both secured braces in the opening period, while Kelly Murphy also scored on a power play.

Momentum would be on UCI's side over the next two quarters, as the Anteaters went on a 6-1 run to take command of the game. A goal to open the fourth put them up 10-6 for their largest lead of the game.

The Gauchos would close things out strong, ending the game on a 3-1 run. Snyder and Legaspi both finished with hat tricks. Freshman Caitlyn Snyder added two goals as well.

Goalkeeper Kenzi Snyder was under fire for much of the game, racking up 13 saves and a steal.

Santa Barbara returns to action next weekend at the Claremont Convergence.