SAN DIEGO – The 13th-ranked UC San Diego women’s water polo team nearly upset No. 8 Princeton, falling 14-13 in sudden death, in the opener of the Aztec Invite before closing out day one with an 8-5 victory over Bucknell at Aztec Aquaplex Saturday.
The Tritons now stand at 15-9 overall following the day split.
The Tritons fell to the undefeated eighth-ranked Princeton Tigers in the opener in sudden death, 14-13.
After being tied at six at the half and at nine after three quarters, the Tritons put themselves in position to win after Julia Kirkland scored on a lob shot over the goalie on a counter attack to make the score 11-10 with 2:47 to play. The Tigers managed to find the back of the cage before the fourth ended to force overtime, however.
In the first overtime session, the Tigers capitalized on a penalty to lead 12-11 at the end of the first extra period. After each team exchanged goals in the second extra quarter, UCSD capitalized on a foul as Alexis Wieseler buried home a shot with nine seconds left to force sudden death.
Princeton was the first to score after earning a six-on-five and executed the man-up advantage to win 14-13.
The Tritons were led by three goals from Melissa Bartow, Wieseler and Kirkland each in the loss. Sarah Lizotte and Leah Gonzales rounded out the scoring with two apiece.
Courtney Miller stopped 16 shots in the cage for UCSD.
UCSD used a strong second period in the afternoon session to down Bucknell, 8-5.
The Tritons led 3-2 after the first quarter and scored four goals in the second period, while holding the Bison scoreless, to hold a 7-2 advantage at the intermission.
UCSD finished out the victory with a strong defensive effort and a score in the fourth period to win 8-5.
Jolene Guiliana and Laurel Kistler led the charge offensively and scored a pair of goals each. Lauren Boyer, Lauren Finwall, Emma Sasson and Andie Nishimi rounded out the scoring for UCSD with a goal apiece.
Alexsee Wilcox provided a strong game in the cage with eight saves and didn’t allow more than two goals in each period, including the shutout quarter in the second.
The Tritons conclude play at the Aztec Invite tomorrow with a pair of games. The first is scheduled for 9:15 a.m. against Harvard while the finale is scheduled for 1 p.m. against Wagner, who is currently receiving votes in the national poll.