SAN DIEGO, Calif. - The 16th-ranked University of California San Diego women's water polo team split a pair of games to open the Aztec Invitational, hosted by San Diego State, Saturday at Aztec Aquaplex. UC San Diego cruised to an 11-4 win over Bucknell before falling, 8-7, to No. 19 Wagner.
With the split, UCSD sits at 10-11 on the season. Bucknell drops to 8-9 overall and Wagner has an 8-9 record.
The Tritons shutout the Bison in the first half en route to an 11-4 triumph. UCSD's defense grabbed 11 steals, with four coming from senior Lani Tittle.
Goals from senior Alexis Wieseler, Lauren Boyer and Connie Wu gave the Tritons a 3-0 lead after the first quarter. Chanel Schilling found the back of the net in the second frame as UCSD led by four at the half.
Freshman Jessee Ransone opened up the third frame, scoring off a pass from Shelby Stender to make it a 5-0 game. The Bisons' Shyla Lintz tallied a goal to put Bucknell on the board. Stender answered with another goal for the Tritons' before Collenn Barron scored again for the Bison.
Boyer and Wieseler rounded out the third frame with back-to-back goals as UCSD took a 8-3 lead into the final quarter.
Halley Atkinson, Stender and Boyer each notched a goal in the final frame as the Tritons' earned the decisive seven goal victory.
Boyer recorded her sixth hat trick of the season with a team-high three goals while Wieseler and Stender each had two. Freshman goalie Reilly Gallagher compiled five saves. Bucknell got its four goals from four different players.
"I thought we played extremely well on offense and defense against Wagner," said head coach Brad Kreutzkamp. "It was a great team win for us."
A slow start doomed UCSD, as the Tritons trailed by four goals at the half. Boyer put UCSD on the board first, with a goal early in quarter one but the Seahawks scored four unanswered goals to take a 4-1 lead.
Schilling netted a goal for the Tritons' in the second frame, however, the Seahawks' Erica Hardy ended the half with back-to-back scores.
UCSD outscored Wagner 5-2 in the second half but it wasn't enough to overcome its early deficit and ultimately suffered the loss.
Wieseler tallied two goals while Schneider notched one to make it a 6-5 game after the third frame.
In the final quarter, the Seahawks scored twice before the Tritons answered with two goals of their own but ran out of time as Wagner walked away with the win. Kayla Fedler and Wieseler each nabbed a goal in the frame.
Wieseler earned her sixth hat trick of the year with three goals while Gallagher made four saves in goal.
For the Seahawks, Erica Hardy recorded a hat trick with three goals.
"I thought our defense played well," said Kreutzkamp. "However, we could not find the back of the net on offense. We will have to continue to work hard fix that. We have to come back tomorrow against Indiana and get the win.
UCSD returns to the pool for the second day of the Aztec Invitational Sunday, March 12. The Tritons play No. 13 Indiana at 8:00 a.m. and close out the tournament against Chapman at 2:15 p.m.
GAME ONE BOX SCORE
UCSD 3 1 4 3 - 11
Bucknell 0 0 3 1 - 4
Bucknell: Shyla Lintz 1, Emily Konishi 1, Colleen Barron 1, Regina Younger 1
UCSD: Reilly Gallagher 5
Bucknell: Haley Derrod 3
GAME TWO BOX SCORE
Wagner 2 4 0 2 - 8
UCSD 1 1 3 2 - 7
Wagner: Erica Hardy 3, Jacqui Sjorgen 2, Kimberly Watson 2, Abby Irving 1
UCSD: Reilly Gallagher 4