RIVERSIDE — The No. 16 UCSB women’s water polo team finished January with a 7-2 record, winning both of its games Saturday over Concordia (Cal.) 17-10 and Fresno Pacific 19-4.
UCSB beat Concordia 17-10.
Freshman utility Annie Kuester scored a season-high four times, Caitlyn Snyder and Imani Clemons recorded hat tricks, and Nina Munson added two goals of her own to help give UCSB its first win of the day at California Baptist’s Lancer Joust.
UCSB broke out of a 4-4 deadlock with four unanswered goals by four different Gauchos in the second quarter. It remained a four-goal lead in the final frame, before Kuester put her fourth of the day away with 4:53 to go.
That started another 4-0 UCSB run capped by a goal from Mras, giving the Gauchos their largest lead of the game of eight goals.
Goalkeeper Madison Button had four saves and two steals defending the cage.
In the other game, UCSB defeated Fresno Pacific 19-4.
A season-high 12 Gauchos found the back of the net in their second and final game of the day. Redshirt freshman attacker Leigh Lyter led the offensive charge, putting away four goals for the fourth time in nine games.
Fresno Pacific (1-3) struck first 44 seconds in, but its lead would be short-lived. On the next possession, Mras capitalized on a power play to score her second of the day. The Gauchos couldn’t be stopped, taking a commanding 7-1 lead by the end of the period and an 11-2 lead at the half.
UCSB took its largest lead of the young season in the final minute of play, as redshirt freshman attacker Bianca Borunda scored with 46 seconds left to give her team a 15-goal advantage.
Button had five more saves with a steal at goalkeeper, as the Gauchos gave up three fewer goals than they have in any other game in 2022.
After a week off, UCSB will return to action Feb. 12-13 at UC San Diego’s Canyonview Aquatic Center for the Triton Invite.
Michael Jorgenson writes about sports for UCSB.