Pacific Concludes UCSB Winter Invite In Exciting Fashion
The Pacific women's water polo team concluded the UC Santa Barbara Winter Invitational in exciting fashion Sunday, Jan. 27, collecting a pair of wins over No. 8 Loyola Marymount and CSU Bakersfield. The Tigers upset nationally-ranked LMU, 8-6, to start the day before leading from start to finish in their 8-5 victory over CSUB in the afternoon.
The Tigers' win over LMU marked the first time that Pacific was victorious over a top-10 team since the 2010 season when the Tigers defeated then-No. 10 CSU Northridge, 8-7, in overtime. The win over Loyola Marymount also snapped a seven-game losing streak against the Lions, and was Pacific's first win over LMU since 1997. Sophomore Brydie Pye led the Tigers with five goals on the day, including her first hat trick of the season against CSU Bakersfield. Fellow sophomore Taylor Adair added three scores. Junior goalkeeper Michele Relton finished the day with 19 blocks, 11 of which came in the Tigers' win over the Roadrunners. She now has four double-digit save outings in five games this season. Pacific improved to 3-2 on the year while Loyola Marymount and CSU Bakersfield fell to 5-3 and 1-4, respectively.
Loyola Marymount jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead just 30 seconds into the first quarter. Pacific took some time to get going, but managed to take a 2-1 lead after freshman Gracie Smith found the back of the cage at the 1:40 mark. A late score from the Lions knotted the game at 2-2 after the first frame. LMU regained its lead early in the second period, but the Tigers ripped off back-to-back goals to go up 4-3.
The Lions tied things at 4-4 midway through the quarter, but the rest of the frame was all Pacific as the Tigers netted a pair of goals, one each from Adair and Pye, to take a 6-4 advantage into intermission. Junior Rebecca Wright scored the only goal of the third period at the 2:00 mark, beating Loyola Marymount's goalkeeper on a counter attack. She would score again early in the fourth quarter as Pacific took its largest lead of the game at 8-4.
The Lions finally broke their near 16-minute scoring drought with a goal from center with 4:55 on the clock, pulling back to within three. LMU would score again with three minutes left, but was unable to overcome Pacific's strong defense as the Tigers secured the win.
Loyola Marymount got all six of its goals from different players. Jordan White recorded eight saves for the Lions in four quarters of work. In the Tigers' final game in Santa Barbara, they wasted little time in building a 3-0 lead. Pye got things started with two goals before Adair gave Pacific a three-score advantage after the first frame. Pacific extended its lead to four on a goal from sophomore Kelsey Carter midway through the second period before CSUB got its first score of the game with 2:27 on the clock, snapping their 13-minute scoreless streak.
A late goal from sophomore Noelle Mann spotted the Tigers a 5-1 lead at the break. Smith spotted the Tigers their largest lead of the game with a goal at the 6:10 mark of the third period, giving Pacific a 6-1 lead. The Roadrunners controlled the rest of the quarter, however, scoring consecutive goals to cut the Tigers' advantage to three with one frame left.
Pye got Pacific back on the right track with her third goal of the game two minutes into the fourth quarter. CSUB responded on its next possession but the Tigers regained their four-goal lead on a score from Carter midway through the frame. The Roadrunners would score a late goal resulting in the final margin. Shannon McKenzie led CSUB with a pair of goals. Goalkeeper Alex Bayer collected five blocks in a complete game effort for the Roadrunners. Pacific returns home to Kjeldsen Pool where it will play host to the second annual Pacific Invitational next Saturday, Feb. 2. CSU East Bay, Azusa Pacific and Hartwick will be participating in this year's invite. The action gets underway at 9 a.m. when the Tigers square off against CSUEB.
Pacific 8, No. 8 Loyola Marymount 6
Pacific 2 - 4 - 1 - 1 -- 8
Loyola Marymount 2 - 2 - 0 - 2 -- 6 Goals
Pacific - Adair 2, Pye 2, Wright 2, Mann, Smith
Loyola Marymount - Beck, Bonk, Castro, Johnson, Lopez, Morelos Goalkeeper Saves
Pacific - Relton 8
Loyola Marymount - White 8 Pacific 8, CSU Bakersfield 5
Pacific 3 - 2 - 1 - 2 -- 8
CSU Bakersfield 0 - 1 - 2 - 2 -- 5 Goals
Pacific - Pye 3, Carter 2, Adair, Mann, Smith
CSU Bakersfield - McKenzie 2, Browning, De Leon, Nesbit Goalkeeper Saves
Pacific - Relton 11
CSU Bakersfield - Bayer 5