THORNTON, Colo. -
The No. 14 UC San Diego women's water polo team trailed in the second half to No. 20 Colorado State, but a pair of second-half hat tricks by Kirsten Bates
and Sarah Lizotte
helped the Tritons prevail, 14-11, on Thursday afternoon in Western Water Polo Association play at Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center.
Down by a goal less than 90 seconds into the third quarter, Bates scored with a man-advantage to tie the game before Lizotte and Jessica Tran scored back-to-back goals to give the Tritons a 9-7 advantage. The Rams brought it back within one with 2:30 left in the period, but Jessica Tran scored with five seconds remaining to give the Tritons a 10-8 lead heading into the final stanza.
Lizotte scored her fifth goal of the day less than a minute into the fourth to put the Tritons up by three. CSU's Lauren Porteus made it 11-9 at the 6:09 mark, but that would be as close as the Rams would get the rest of the way. The teams traded goals as Bates, Lizotte and Natalie Peng added goals in the final five minutes.
"We knew this was going to be a tough challenge for us. Colorado State is a top 20 team and to play them here in Colorado was going to challenge our bench," said UCSD head coach Brad Kreutzkamp. "The cobwebs really showed with this being our first game. Our extra-man offense was pretty ineffective today, but I give credit to CSU for running a pretty good defense against us."
Lizotte led the way for UCSD (1-0, 1-0 WWPA) with six goals on the afternoon, while Bates chipped-in with three of her own. Tran tallied a pair of goals and goalkeeper Allie Taylor stopped 10 shots, including a penalty shot. The Tritons earned 11 ejections, but were able to convert only three 6-on-5 opportunities.
For CSU (0-5, 0-1 WWPA), Porteus registered a hat trick, while Caroline Young, Kelcy Barott and Amber Bryan each added a pair of goals. The Rams were ranked in the CWPA Top 20 for the first time this season and were playing their first game in the brand-new Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center.
UCSD led 4-1 early in the second quarter, but CSU rallied for three of the next four goals of the game to end the half down by just one, 5-4. The Rams caught the Tritons 50 seconds into the third and led 7-6 with 5:23 remaining in the quarter. However, Bates and Lizotte scored in succession to give UCSD an 8-7 lead just over a minute later. UCSD held onto the lead the rest of the way.
"I am very happy to get the win and hopefully we can continue to improve as we head off to Maryland," said Kreutzkamp.
UCSD will head eastward to College Park, Md. for the Terrapin Invitational on Saturday and Sunday. The Tritons face Wagner and Maryland on Saturday before clashing with Marist on Sunday.
The Tritons' first home contest of the season will take place on Friday, February 10 at 6:00 p.m. against Marist. The following two days, UCSD will host the annual 16-team Triton Invitational at Canyonview Aquatic Center. For more information, including ticket prices, lodging and the tournament field, click here.