Last weekend the UCSD women’s water polo season began with a bang as it hosted the UCSD Arena NoGrip Women’s Water Polo Invitational at Canyonview pool Saturday and Sunday.
UCSD had a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde weekend, losing its first two games on Saturday, then returning the next day to post two victories to even up its record to 2-2.
On Saturday the Tritons lost a tough first game to UC Santa Barbara, losing in overtime, 7-6. UCSB took an early lead in the first quarter, outscoring UCSD three goals to one. The Tritons bounced back in the second quarter, scoring two goals to tie with the Gauchos with stellar defense, rendering them unable to score. The two teams remained deadlocked from there, both scoring a goal in the third and fourth quarters to come to a 5-5 tie at the end of regulation. It wasn’t meant to be, however, as UCSB notched two goals in the overtime period to UCSD’s one, giving the Gauchos the victory. Gaucho Mary Blumberg scorched the Tritons’ all-game, finishing with five goals in the match. For UCSD, junior Courtney Hemmerly and sophomore Samara Silverman each scored two goals. In their second game of the afternoon, the Tritons ran up against eventual champion USC. It was all USC from the beginning, as the Trojans scored five goals in the first quarter while holding UCSD scoreless. The Tritons did manage to bounce back in the second quarter and outscore the Trojans, two goals to one, but USC responded with a rally of its own to push the lead to 12-3 at the end of the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, however, the Tritons dug deep within and mounted a furious comeback, outscoring the Trojans six goals to one. Unfortunately, it was not enough as USC came out on top 13-9. The Tritons received goals from eight different players, with senior Hilary Smith being the only Triton with two goals. The four-goal win against UCSD was USC’s smallest margin of victory in the tournament.
Sunday was a completely different day. The Tritons jumped all over rival San Diego State early on, tallying four goals in the first quarter to the Aztecs’ one. The two teams were even in the second quarter with three goals apiece, but SDSU crawled back to within two after netting two goals in the third quarter to the Tritons’ one. Tha was as close as the Aztecs got, however, as both teams scored two goals in the final quarter, giving UCSD a 10-8 victory. In the game the Tritons were led by juniors Erin Welsh and Emma Kudritzki, with three goals each, while Heidi Matsumoto and Kelly Falcone both scored two goals for SDSU.
In its final game of the afternoon, UCSD squared off against a fellow University of California campus, UC Irvine. The Tritons were outscored by Irvine 2-1 in the first quarter, but then beat up on the Anteaters 3-0 in the second quarter. The Tritons maintained their momemtum by edging Irvine 3-2 in the third quarter and maintained the 3-2 advantage in the fourth quarter to end up with a 10-6 win. Kudritzki, UCSD’s leading scorer last year, again led the Tritons with three goals, while sophomore Danille Boyle and Hemmerly had two goals apiece.
The Tritons will next put on their leis and fly out to Hawaii to take on the University of Hawaii Thursday and Saturday. Then they will be looking forward to the UC Santa Barbara Tournament Feb. 24 to Feb. 25.