SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The 17th-ranked UC San Diego women’s water polo team earned a pair of conference victories Sunday at the Bronco Invitational to finish the two-day tournament with a perfect 4-0 record.
UCSD now holds an 18-12 overall record and is undefeated in Western Water Polo Association play at 6-0.
The Tritons opened the day with a 12-6 victory over Cal State Monterey Bay and held on for a 12-10 win over Cal State East Bay to close out the tourney. On Saturday, UCSD won games against Colorado State and Sonoma State.
“It was great to get four wins and improve to a 6-0 in our conference,” said UCSD head coach Brad Kreutzkamp. “Playing two games a day is always tough, but our conditioning program this year is really paying off. “
Balanced play continued to show for the Tritons. With a spread offense, seven different individuals chipped in with at least one goal.
UCSD earned scoring opportunities through set offense, but also showed strength in drawing ejections and creating man-up situations. With 20 opportunities on the day, the Tritons scored seven goals from 6-on-5 plays and tallied five penalty shots.
Junior Sarah Lizotte finished with a team-high six goals, four of those from five-meter chances.
Courtney Miller finished with an impressive 26 saves in the two games, including 17 against Cal State East Bay.
“Courtney is a rock for us in the cage and it allows us the freedom to do so much," said Kreutzkamp. "I am very happy where we are right now."
The Tritons came out hot, outscoring the Otters 5-1 in the first quarter. They continued the pressure through the remainder of the first half, holding CSUMB scoreless and tacking on another two goals to hold a 7-1 lead at the break.
CSUMB came out stronger in the second half of play, matching UCSD goal for goal in both the third and fourth quarters, but it wasn’t enough to close the gap.
In game two, the Tritons and Pioneers played a tight match, each tallying three goals in the first quarter. UCSD made its largest run of the game in the second quarter, netting five goals to gain an 8-5 lead going into halftime.
The Tritons continued to build separation in the third, gaining a five-goal lead heading into the final frame.
East Bay netted four goals in the fourth quarter, but impressive numbers from Miller in goal held the Pioneers off.
UCSD returns to Canyonview Pool to host No. 9 Long Beach State on Thursday, April 11 at 6 p.m. before heading to the DII Championships in Fresno April 13-14.
Game One: UC SAN DIEGO 12 CAL STATE MONTEREY BAY 6
UCSD 5 – 2 – 3 – 2 = 12
CSUMB 1 – 0 – 3 – 2 = 6
UCSD Saves: Courtney Miller 9
CSUMB Saves: Amanda Jennings 4
Game Two: UC SAN DIEGO 12 CAL STATE EAST BAY 10
UCSD 3 – 5 – 3 – 1 = 12
CSUEB 3 – 2 – 1 – 4 = 10
UCSD Saves: Courtney Miller 17