Tritons Go 1-3 at UCI

Tritons Go 1-3 at UCI


UCSD faced tough competition against Hawaii, UCLA, Arizona State, and Cal State Northridge

The No. 11 UCSD women’s water polo team suffered a tough string of losses against strong opponents this past weekend, going 1–3 and finishing eighth at the UC Irvine Invitational. The Tritons started off strong, upsetting No. 6 Hawaii 10–9, before dropping their next three matches to No. 3 UCLA, No. 7 Arizona State and No. 10 Cal State Northridge by scores of 6–8, 4–10 and 7–9 respectively. UCSD now stands at 10–6 overall on the season.

We’ve had a track record of not playing well in overtime games, so this was a nice tournament and a good win for us. -UCSD Head Coach Corrie Falcon

On Saturday, the Tritons’ first contest against the University of Hawaii was a nail-biter. With the match tight throughout, junior attacker Jolene Guiliana secured the victory for UCSD, netting her third goal from the wing in sudden death overtime.

Neither squad ever led by more than three points, as both the Tritons and Rainbow Wahine continuously exchanged goals for the majority of the match.

After a hard-fought final quarter, Hawaii forced extra play with only 46 seconds remaining; but UCSD sophomore attacker Laurel Kistler drew an ejection in overtime play, giving the Tritons a six-on-five advantage and allowing Guiliana to find the back of the cage.

“We had a game plan, we executed [it], and it was a great game,” senior utility Sarah Lizotte said. “We’ve had a track record of not playing well in overtime games, so this was a nice turnaround and a good win for us.”

Sophomore goalie Courtney Miller recorded 20 saves for the Tritons, while senior center Melissa Bartow led the Tritons with four goals. Lizotte and sophomore attacker Julia Kirkland both tallied hat tricks as well.

In their subsequent Saturday contest, the Tritons appeared to eye a second consecutive upset against UCLA, until a poor second half gave the Bruins the win.

UCSD led 5–3 at halftime but could only net one more goal in the final two quarters, while UCLA picked up five to close out the match 8–6.

Lizotte noted the Tritons’ fatigue as a key factor in UCSD’s loss.

“We only had about a one-hour break in between our first and second game,” Lizotte said. “It’s really hard to bounce back from an overtime game and play a team that’s No. 3 in the nation. I think it was a great game. We played well in the first half, and we just lost some steam from the end of the third and into the fourth quarter.”

The following day, the Tritons appeared overwhelmed playing against Arizona State, as the Sun Devils shut UCSD out in the first half while scoring five times themselves.

Though the Tritons nearly matched Arizona State in scoring throughout the second half (5–4), their lackluster start ultimately prevented any possibility of climbing back into the match.

In their fourth and final match of the weekend, the Tritons started off strong against Cal State Northridge, finding the back of the cage three times in the first quarter and closing out the half with a 5–4 advantage.

However, in the third quarter, the Tritons were held scoreless, giving the lead to the Matadors who scored three times. In the final quarter, both squads scored a pair of goals, as the Tritons failed to regain their edge and fell 9–7.

Guiliana, along with sophomore defense Alexis Wieseler and junior attacker Rachel Brooks led UCSD with two goals, while Miller finished with 17 saves.

“Things just weren’t going the way we wanted,” Lizotte said. “Our offensive side just wasn’t working for us [on Sunday], but that’s going to happen. The takeaway is that we see some things offensively we need to work on.”

The Tritons will remain on the road and are slated to face non-conference opponents No. 12 Cal State Long Beach and No. 5 UC Irvine Friday, Feb. 28 and Saturday, Feb. 29.

“I think we have the potential to beat both teams, so I’m excited to play.” Lizotte said. “All of this is preparation for NCAAs, and that’s where we see ourselves at the end of all this.”