The No. 16 UCSB women’s water polo team earned its first Big West win of 2022 on Friday, using a stellar defensive day to defeat No. 24 CSUN 10-7 on the road.
The Gauchos improve to 11-8 on the season and 1-1 in conference play, while dropping the Matadors to 8-9 overall, 0-3 Big West.
UCSB got out to a great start with four first quarter goals coming from four different Gauchos. Juju Amaral put away her first of three for the day at the 6:04 mark to open the day’s scoring.
Santa Barbara ended the opening period on a 3-0 run with goals from Sarah Owens, Nina Munson and Caitlyn Snyder. However, CSUN would dominate the second, going on a 4-1 run of its own to tie things at 5-5 heading into halftime.
The Gauchos took the lead back by scoring the first two goals of the second half. Snyder notched her second straight three-goal outing a little over a minute into the third. Amaral then made it 7-5 on a power play 74 seconds later. Soon after that, she would seal her first hat trick of the year to put UCSB up 8-6.
The Matadors pulled within one once again early in the fourth, as Dorottya Telek’s goal made it 8-7 in favor of the Gauchos. However, UCSB would secure the final two goals of the day, as Munson and Owens scored in quick succession to seal the 10-7 win.
Freshman goalkeeper Taylor McEvilly (4-5) set new season-highs with nine saves on a .563 save percentage. The seven goals allowed were tied for the second-fewest of the season for UCSB.
The Gauchos will have a week off before heading to Hawaii for a Friday, Mar. 25 meeting against the No. 5 Rainbow Wahine.
Michael Jorgenson writes about sports for UCSB.