Tritons Finish Sixth In NCAA Water Polo Tournament

No. 10 and seventh-seeded UCSD placed sixth at the NCAA championship held at the Spieker Aquatics Center at UCLA this past weekend. UCSD lost to second-seed UCLA to begin the tournament, quickly placing into the bottom four teams at the tournament. However, the Tritons won their second match against UC Santa Barbara, allowing them to battle against Arizona State University and to potentially claim the fifth- or sixth-place finish during the next round. The Tritons lost their final match of the year to ASU, earning them sixth place overall at the tournament.

 

Friday Night

The Tritons faced off against the third-best team in the nation, the UCLA Bruins, during their quarterfinal match of the NCAA tournament. UCSD hung in there during the first quarter after only allowing the Bruins to score twice as redshirt junior two-meter defender Alexis Wieseler sneaked one in the back of the net for the Tritons. Heading into the second quarter with a score of 2–1 in the Bruins’ favor, UCLA’s offense exploded, scoring five goals. Senior attacker Laurel Kistler and Wieseler scored in the second quarter, bringing UCLA’s lead to 7–3, heading into halftime.

The second half of the game was all UCLA as it scored 10 goals and held UCSD to only one goal by junior attacker Connie Wu.

The final score was 17–4 in UCLA’s favor.

 

Saturday Afternoon

The No. 10 UCSD Tritons played the No. 7 UCSB Gauchos in the second game of the NCAA tournament. UCSB capitalized first, scoring the first goal of the match, but UCSD answered back by scoring three consecutive goals as junior two-meter defender Lani Tittle, Wieseler and senior attacker Emma Sasson found the back of the net. The score was 3–1 in the Tritons’ favor heading into the second quarter.

The Tritons sneaked two more past the Gauchos in the second quarter with goals from junior center Lauren Boyer and Kistler, and UCSB only managed to score once before halftime.

UCSB scored within the first 24 seconds of the third quarter, cutting the margin to two, before UCSD scored three consecutive goals. The goals came from Sasson, senior attacker Julia Kirkland and Wieseler.

Although the Gauchos matched the Tritons with two goals apiece in the fourth quarter, it wasn’t enough for them to earn the victory. The Tritons took down the Gauchos with a final score of 10–5 as Wieseler had a hat trick scoring three goals for the Tritons and senior goalkeeper Courtney Miller had 12 saves. UCSD advanced on to play ASU for fifth place at noon on Sunday.

The Tritons tied the 1994 UCSD women’s water polo team record of 28 wins on the season after defeating the Gauchos.

 

Sunday Afternoon

The Tritons faced off against No. 6 ASU as they competed for fifth place at the NCAA tournament and ended with 35 shots on goal. However, they could only manage to get two past ASU’s goalkeeper during the match. UCSD was shutout the first quarter and allowed one Sun Devil goal, giving ASU the advantage. During the second quarter Sasson found the back of the net before ASU quickly scored, regaining the lead once again 36 seconds later on the next possession. The Sun Devils led 2–1 heading into the second half of the game, taking control of the game as they shut UCSD out and scored three goals in the third quarter. The score was 5–1 heading into the final quarter of match, when Wieseler managed to score. However, this wasn’t enough for the Tritons to earn fifth place at the tournament, as the Sun Devils went on to score three more goals. The final score of the match was 8–2 with the Tritons finishing sixth at the tournament.

The 2016 Tritons’ sixth-place finish matched their best showing at the NCAA championship in school history with. Wieseler beingwas named to the NCAA Championship All-Tournament Second team.