GENEVA, Ohio - The 18th-ranked and top-seeded UC San Diego women's water polo team limited the opponent to two goals in each quarter as the Tritons trounced fourth-seeded Cal State Monterey Bay by a final score of 20-8 in the Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) Championship semifinals Saturday at the SPIRE Institute.
The four-time defending champion Tritons advance to their eighth consecutive championship game, Sunday at 8:15 a.m. PT against No. 3 seed Sonoma State.
With its fourth straight win, UC San Diego improves to 18-14 on the season. The Otters fall to 8-12 overall.
Senior Alexis Wieseler tallied a game-high five goals while sophomore Shelby Stender added four. Senior center Lauren Boyer grabbed her 12th hat trick of the season after notching three goals. A total of 10 different Tritons' found the back of the cage.
In goal, freshman Reilly Gallagher had a career-best 12 saves. The Otter goalie, Morgen Fain made seven stops.
UCSD jumped out to an early 3-0 lead after senior Lani Tittle had a goal 20 seconds into the game and Lauren Boyer scored on two powerplays. The Otters' Morgan Tucker notched two goals in the frame but Wieseler, sophomore Chanel Schilling and Stender each scored to give the Tritons' a 6-2 lead.
The Tritons increased their lead in the third frame, outscoring CSUMB 4-2, to grab a 15-6 advantage. Stender was responsible for two of the scores while WIeseler and junior Kayla Fedler tallied one apiece.
UCSD could not be stopped as it added on five more goals in the fourth frame to cruise to the 12-goal victory. Wieseler had back-to-back scores while sophomore Riley Heiduk notched two goals and Stender added one.
Tucker was the leading goal scorer for the Otters with three.
Third-seeded Sonoma State was a 7-6 winner over second-seeded Cal State East Bay in Saturday's late semifinal. Sunday's title tilt will have a free video stream here, with live stats courtesy of The FOSH here.
UCSD 6 5 4 5 - 20
CSUMB 2 2 2 2 - 8
CSUMB: Morgan Tucker 3, Angela Steele 1, Marisa Lovos 1, Kylie Wheelock 1, Jessi Boyn-Mankin, 1, Adrinna Craft 1.
UCSD: Reilly Gallagher 12
CSUMB: Morgen Fain 7.