LONG BEACH, Calif. - The UC San Diego women's water polo team scored all its goals in the first three quarters then held on for a 9-7 upset of No. 18 Long Beach State on Saturday afternoon at Campus Pool.
Katherine Biehle pitched in with three goals and Leah Gonzales scored twice as UCSD (7-3) secured its third consecutive victory. Jessica Tran added three assists while Allie Taylor registered nine saves in the cage.
"We knew after a tough Triton Invitational performance that we really needed a good showing today up at Long Beach. They presented a very tough challenge with a very good two meter game and some great outside shooters," said UCSD head coach Brad Kreutzkamp. "I thought our team responded very well to the challenge and I believe that was the difference."
The Tritons are 3-1 against the 49ers since 2010. LBSU drops to 2-4 overall.
Biehle and Gonzales scored on consecutive possessions to hand UCSD a 2-1 lead with three minutes left in the first. LBSU pulled even early in the second, but Biehle scored with a man-advantage and Melissa Bartow scored the next time down the tank to make it 4-2.
Kirsten Bates added a 6-on-5 goal as the Tritons took a 5-3 lead into the half.
UCSD used a four-goal outburst in the third quarter to put the game out of reach. After the teams traded a pair of scores, Biehle notched her third goal of the game to put the Tritons up 8-5 at the 2:31 mark. Two minutes later, Gonzales drew a penalty and Sarah Lizotte coverted the free shot from five meters to put the Tritons up by four.
LBSU scored on a man-advantage early in the fourth to get within three. However, Taylor and the Triton defense held the 49ers scoreless until Coriann Snyder's goal with 1:26 to play made the final scoreline 9-7.
"Katherine Biehle turned in one of her best performances as a Triton with three goals and a great effort on our counter attack. I was very proud of her effort," said Kreutzkamp.
UCSD and LBSU went 3-for-8 and 3-for-6, respectively, in 6-on-5 situations.
The Tritons' next competition will be the UC Irvine Invitational on Saturday and Sunday, February 25 and 26, at the Anteater Aquatics Complex. UCSD opens against No. 1 Stanford at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday.