DAVIS, Calif. – The No. 9 UC Santa Barbara women's water polo team got out to a strong start playing at No. 11 UC Davis on Saturday at Schaal Aquatics Center, but a late rally from the Aggies would see them come back to defeat the Gauchos by a final score of 11-10.
The loss ends UCSB's undefeated run in the month of March, putting the Gauchos at 18-6 overall and 1-1 in Big West play. The Aggies improve to 15-9 overall, 1-1 conference.
The Gauchos were in complete control in the early going, taking a commanding 5-1 lead through one period of play. Sophomore attacker Mollie Simmons got things started less than 80 seconds in, scoring on a power play. Junior utility Sarah Snyder added two more goals – the first assisted by Amanda Legaspi and the second by Shannon Moran – giving the Gauchos a 3-0 lead at the 4:57 mark.
An Aggie penalty would stop the bleeding momentarily, but Moran and freshman Caitlyn Snyder both scored in the final minutes to make it 5-1. The younger Snyder went on to join her sister as the only Gauchos to put up multiple goals on the day.
The second quarter would belong to the home side. The Davis defense began to get stops, giving up just one goal to Sarah Snyder with 2:52 left in the half. The Aggie offense also woke up, as they put in two goals to open the period and another two in the final minutes, making it a 6-5 Gaucho lead at halftime.
Santa Barbara gained a little separation early in the third quarter as Sarah Snyder put away her fourth goal of the game off an assist from senior Kate Pipkin. The two sides traded goals the rest of the period. Caitlyn Snyder scored her second of the day, and Pipkin converted a penalty with 1:07 left in the third, but the Aggies put up three goals of their own to head into the fourth quarter trailing 9-8.
Davis went on to end the game on a 4-1 run. Amanda Legaspi's five-meter goal with 3:48 was UCSB's lone score in the final frame, putting them back up 10-9. UCD's Annie Kutt would find an equalizer on a power play with just under three minutes to go though, and Noelle Wijnbelt provided the winner with 1:23 remaining.
With just three games left in the regular season, UCSB will be back on the road next Saturday to face No. 22 CSUN at noon.