LA JOLLA, Calif. - A skip shot from sophomore attacker Krista Schneider brought the University of California San Diego women's water polo team within one goal of Wagner with 2:21 left in the game. However, it wasn't enough as UC San Diego suffered a 6-5 defeat in the opening round of the NCAA National Collegiate Women's Water Polo Championship, Saturday at Canyonview Aquatic Center on the campus of UC San Diego.
UCSD concludes its season with a 19-15 overall record. The Seahawks improve to 21-15 and advance to the first round of the NCAA Championship, where they will play top-seeded UCLA in Indianapolis, Ind., on Friday, May 12.
Down by two in the fourth quarter, Schneider received a pass from senior Alexis Wieseler and drilled one past Seahawk goalie Emily Riddle to make it a 6-5 game with just over two minutes left. UCSD had a few more attempts but ultimately ran out of time and suffered the season ending defeat.
Elise Begg and Erica Hardy each had two goals for Wagner while Riddle made seven stops in the cage.
Boyer scored on a powerplay goal 25 seconds into the first quarter to give the Tritons an early lead. However, the Seahawks answered with back-to-back goals to take a 2-1 lead after the first frame.
Hardy opened up the second frame with a goal for Wagner before Tittle was able to drill one past Riddle on a six-on-five opportunity. The Seahawks led 3-2 at the half.
UCSD came out of halftime scoring back-to-back goals to take its only lead of the game, 4-3, with 5:43 remaining in the third quarter. Schilling got things started when she scored off a pass from freshman Jessee Ransone. Two minutes later, Schnieder connected with Fedler for a goal. Wagner answered with two consecutive goals to take back the lead, 5-4, as time expired in the stanza.
The Seahawks' Jacqui Sjogren found Begg for a goal early in the fourth quarter to put the Tritons at a two-goal deficit. Wieseler connected with Schneider for the final goal of the game.
UCSD will lose six seniors in Boyer, Tittle, Wieseler, Hanna Schneider, Connie Wu and Rachel Emami, all of whom leave the program with four Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) titles and four NCAA Championship appearances. Wieseler was in fact a part of five WWPA crowns as a fifth-year senior. The Tritons will return 15 players, including All-WWPA honorees Ransone, Gallagher, Schilling and Schneider.
Wagner 2 1 2 1 - 6
UCSD 1 1 2 1 - 5
UCSD: Reilly Gallagher 6.
WC: Emily Riddle 7.