HAYWARD, Calif. -
The UC San Diego women's water polo team defeated Cal State Bakersfield for the third time this season, 11-7, in the opening round of the WWPA Championships Friday afternoon at Chabot Community College. UCSD advances to face Santa Clara (20-13) on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. in the tournament semifinals.
Sarah Lizotte recorded her seventh consecutive hat trick in the win, while Kirsten Bates and Katherine Biehle added two goals apiece. Felicia Orozco dished-out three assists and Hanalei Crowell swiped five steals. Allie Taylor registered 10 saves in goal.
UCSD crawled back from a 2-1 deficit at the end of the opening period, as Bates and Lizotte scored consecutive goals to give the Tritons a 3-2 lead with 2:18 left in the first half. CSUB (8-29) scored with a man-advantage on its next possession, but Lizotte added another score to give the Tritons a 4-3 lead heading into intermission.
Bates, Jessica Tran and Natalie Peng scored three unanswered goals in the first six and a half minutes to open the third quarter. CSUB edged within 7-4 with a minute left in the third and Paige Tusurdja scored with just a second left to bring the Roadrunners within two heading into the final period.
Lizotte scored on the Tritons' first possession of the quarter and Crowell followed with a successful penalty shot to make it 9-5. The teams traded goals before Biehle finished the Roadrunners off on a goal with just seven seconds remaining.
The winner of UCSD-Santa Clara will advance to face the winner of Loyola Marymount-Cal State East Bay in the WWPA Championship on Sunday at 1:30 p.m.