SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – The No. 14 UC San Diego women’s water polo team opened the 2014 season with a pair of wins Saturday at the UCSB Winter Invite. The Tritons beat Concordia in game one, 21-2, before upsetting No. 5 Arizona State, 12-11, in the final game of the day. Sarah Lizotte and Alexis Wieseler led the Tritons on the day with seven goals apiece in the pair of victories.
In the opening match, the Tritons received four goals from Julia Kirkland and three from Wieseler to power UCSD to the win.
The Tritons opened the game with seven goals in the first quarter to lead 7-1 after the opening period. UCSD followed with another strong quarter in the second by shutting out the Eagles and scoring four goals to hold an 11-1 advantage at the intermission.
UCSD closed the game by scoring five times in the final two frames and only allowed a single tally from Concordia in the third period to win 21-2.
Lizotte, the reigning NCAA Division II Player of the Year, scored three times in the win, while Lauren Finwall, Jolene Guiliana and Melissa Bartow scored a pair of goals for the Tritons. Rachel Brooks, Leah Gonzales, Emma Sasson, Andie Nishimi and Karen Henry rounded out the scoring for UCSD with a goal apiece.
In the second game of the day, UCSD held off a late rally from the fifth-ranked Sun Devils to improve its record to 2-0 on the season.
"The difference in the game today was certaintly our two-meter defensive play," said head coach Brad Kreutzkamp. "Both Wieseler and Delgado did a fantastic job."
The Tritons held a slim advantage after the first quarter by finding the back of the cage four times compared to three from Arizona State. The high scoring affair continued into the second period as each team scored three times. UCSD held a 7-6 lead at halftime.
The Tritons continued to hold an advantage after scoring twice in the third and only surrendered one goal to ASU. The final quarter proved to be a battle, as the Sun Devils poured in four goals to mount a comeback. UCSD responded with three goals of its own to earn the 12-11 upset win.
"Heading into the fourth quarter with a two-goal lead, we decided to really hit the offensive end and the three goals we scored ended up giving us a cushion late in the game that allowed us to put the breaks on the final 3:00 minutes," noted Kreutzkamp about the final quarter.
Lizotte and Wieseler tallied four goals each to power the Tritons to the win. Guiliana and Bartow rounded out the scoring for UCSD by scoring a pair of goals apeice. Courtney Miller proved to be a difference maker in the cage with 10 saves for the Tritons.
The Sun Devils were led by three goals apiece from Alkistis Benekou and Petra Pardi in the loss.
UCSD continues play at the UCSB Winter Invite tomorrow with a pair of games. The Tritons face No. 17 UC Santa Barbara at 8:00 a.m. before taking on CSU Bakersfield at 1:50 p.m.
Box Game One
UCSD 7 4 5 5 - 21
CUI 1 0 1 0 - 2
UCSD: Julia Kirkland 4, Alexis Wieseler 3, Sarah Lizotte 3, Lauren Finwall 2, Jolene Guiliana 2, Melissa Bartow 2, Rachel Brooks 1, Leah Gonzales 1, Emma Sasson 1, Karen Henry 1, Andie Nishimi 1
CUI: Anna Kim 1, Brooke Roy 1
UCSD: Courtney Miller 2, Alexsee Wilcox 5
CUI: MacKenzie Kuran 6
Box Game Two
UCSD 4 3 2 3 - 12
ASU 3 3 1 4 - 11
UCSD: Sarah Lizotte 4, Alexis Wieseler 4, Jolene Guiliana 2, Melissa Bartow 2
ASU: Alkistis Benekou 3, Petra Pardi 3, Katie Sverchek 1, Annie Kertes 1, Ao Gao 1, Izabella Chiappini 1, Katie Enoka 1
UCSD: Courtney Miller 10
ASU: EB Keeve 8, Neta Hutchinson 5