IRVINE, Calif. – The 13th-ranked UC San Diego women’s water polo team opened the UCI Invitational with an upset of No. Hawaii in sudden death, 10-9, before falling in the nightcap to No. 3 UCLA, 8-6, in Irvine Saturday.
The Tritons now stand at 10-4 overall after the day split and pick up their sixth win over a ranked opponent on the season.
Courtney Miller, who recorded 33 combined saves in the cage, led UCSD on the day. The offense was supplied by four scores from Melissa Bartow, while Sarah Lizotte, Julia Kirkland and Jolene Guiliana scored a trio of goals apiece in the split.
In an instant classic, the Tritons received a goal from Guiliana in sudden death to take down Hawaii in the opener, 10-9. The game winner was scored from the wing on a six-on-five advantage after Laurel Kistler drew an ejection.
The game was tight throughout, with neither team earning more than a three-goal advantage. The Tritons held a 3-2 lead at the intermission with a goal from Lizotte and two scores from Bartow.
The Tritons earned its largest lead of the game in third at 5-2 following a goal from Kirkland, but Hawaii stormed back in the final period to force overtime.
The Rainbow Wahine opened the final quarter with consecutive scores to tie it at six as each team exchanged goals to force overtime. Hawaii scored the last goal to knot it at eight with :46 seconds remaining.
After allowing a goal in the opening minute to Hawaii, Alexis Wieseler found the back of the cage as the game headed into the second overtime period. After a scoreless extra session, Guiliana finished off the win with her late heroics.
Bartow led the charge offensively with three scores, while Miller stopped 20 shots in the cage.
In the final game of day one for UCSD, the Tritons fell victim to a sluggish second half after jumping out to a quick lead against UCLA.
After the Bruins opened the game with a score, UCSD responded with two straight goals from Emma Sasson and Bartow to lead 2-1 after the first quarter.
The Tritons tacked on three more in the second, two from Lizotte and one from Kirkland, to lead 5-3 at halftime.
UCSD was held to one goal in the final two quarters, while the Bruins found the back of the cage five times to avoid the upset and win, 8-6.
Lizotte finished with a pair of scores to lead the Tritons, while Miller recorded another double-digit save performance with 13 in the loss.
The Tritons face No. 7 Arizona State tomorrow at 9:45 a.m. at Anteater Aquatics Complex to continue play at the UCI Invitational. The Tritons beat the Sun Devils on Jan. 25 at the UCSB Winter Invite, a 12-11 decision. Depending on the outcome, UCSD will wrap up play in Irvine at 1:30 p.m. or 2:45 p.m.
Box Game One
UCSD 2 1 3 2 1 0 1 - 10
Hawaii 1 1 2 4 1 0 0 - 9
UCSD: Melissa Bartow 3, Alexis Wieseler 2, Jolene Guiliana 2, Julia Kirkland 1, Leah Gonzales 1, Sarah Lizotte 1
Hawaii: Lopes da Silva 3, Lewis 3, Chillida Esforzado 2, Coutinho 1
UCSD: Courtney Miller 20
Hawaii: Carlson 8
Box Game Two
UCSD 2 3 0 1 - 6
UCLA 1 2 2 3 - 8
UCSD: Sarah Lizotte 2, Melissa Bartow 1, Julia Kirkland 1, Emma Sasson 1, Jolene Guiliana 1
UCLA: Donohoe 2, Barr 2, Williams 2, Dorst 1, Ronimiles 1
UCSD: Courtney Miller 13
UCLA: Hill 10