High Powered Offense Leads Tritons To Victory

Photo by Megan Lee
Photo by Megan Lee

Riding in on a two-game losing streak, the No. 10 UCSD women’s water polo team looked to right the ship in its three-game stint over the weekend. The Tritons achieved their goal and then some, as they absolutely pulverized Sonoma State, Cal State Monterey Bay and Cal State East Bay by an overall margin of 39–13 to improve to a 22–9 overall record.


Game One:


During their first game of the weekend, the Tritons wasted no time putting up points. Just two minutes into the first period, UCSD redshirt junior two-meter defender Alexis Wieseler scored the first of her four goals to take the Triton’s first point of the game. After a last-second goal by the Seawolves cut the Tritons’ advantage to just 32, the match looked like it would turn into a tight, back-and-forth affair.


Despite the close start, the Tritons clamped down on defense and went on to outscore the Seawolves 72 for the remaining three periods. Thanks to a strong showing on defense, the Tritons finished the game with a comfortable 104 victory.


The Tritons would’ve had a much harder time with the Seawolves were it not for Wieseler’s astounding game-high four goals on five shots. Senior attacker Emma Sasson came in right behind her with another two goals on three shots, while sophomore goalie Emma Scholz helped defend the fort with two saves in just eight minutes of play.


With the Tritons’ win, the Seawolves fell to 1012 overall and 11 in conference play.


Game Two:


Regardless of the fact it was their second game in a day, UCSD’s indefatigable pursuit of perfection was met with little resistance in its match against Cal State Monterey Bay. As if it were disappointed by its start to the previous match, the Tritons’ offense came out firing on all cylinders, outscoring the Otters 51 in just four minutes. But the buck wouldn’t stop there, because even after utterly deflating the Otters in the first period, the Tritons’ relentless offense would not feel a modicum of mercy for its WWPA rivals, as it effortlessly outscored the Otters 143 for the rest of the game.


The Tritons dominated through a balanced attack, with points coming from 11 different players. Freshman center Chanel Schilling led the attack with five goals on eight shots, while Wieseler’s hot streak continued, converting all four of her shot attempts.


Of course, UCSD couldn’t have dominated without some good, old-fashioned defense. Scholz had an incredible 15 saves and two steals, only coughing up six points to the desperate Otters. Freshman attackers Riley Heiduk and Shelby Stender stayed alert on defense with four and three steals apiece, respectively.


After the dust had settled, the Otters dropped to a 420 overall record and just 02 in the WWPA.


Game Three:


After getting a night’s worth of rest, the UCSD women’s water polo team was back at it again in its final game of the weekend against Cal State East Bay. Having clearly cooled off from its previous match, the opening act was a much quieter and far less brutal affair, finishing with a 20 UCSD advantage. Following that, the Pioneers showed some signs of life, securing two points of their own in the second period.


Unfortunately for them, they could not solve the issue plaguing teams all weekend: how to stop the Tritons’ offense. Just when it looked like the Pioneers might outscore the Tritons in the second period, quick scores by Schilling and freshman attacker Krista Schneider in the final minute put the Tritons ahead 52 at the half.


Even after matching a little more than a third of their scoring output in their battle against the Otters, the Tritons found a way to match any and all of their opponent’s scores, eventually gaining a well-deserved 83 victory.


Junior center Lauren Boyer scored almost half the team’s points with three goals while also snagging three steals, leading the team in both statistics. Senior goalie Courtney Miller led on the defensive end by stopping six shots on the goal, while also grabbing a steal. With UCSD’s 36 shots, compared to Cal State East Bay’s 19, the Tritons kept up the pressure offensively throughout the match — just enough to earn their third victory of the weekend.


“I think our team is peaking right now,” UCSD Head Coach Brad Kreutzkamp told the Athletics Department. “Our communication has been great. We never take anything for granted.”


With the victories, the Tritons improved to an impressive 229 overall and 30 in conference, while the Pioneers fell to 139 overall. UCSD gets a long break until its next game against California Baptist on April 16.