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Sunday, February 17 , 2019, 5:02 am | Mostly Cloudy 47º

Sports: A Noozhawk Partnership with Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table, The Lab, and American Riviera Bank
Water Polo

Defense Leads UCSB Water Polo to 6-4 Win Over Northridge

No. 9 UCSB  won its third straight in women's water polo, beating Cal State Northridge, 6-4, on Saturday at Campus Pool.

With it being the Gauchos' Senior Day, it was fitting that senior Bryn Hudson co-led the Gauchos (15-11, 3-1) with two goals. Joining Hudson with a brace performance was Taylor Shore who had the most productive game of any Gaucho with three assists, three earned ejections, and two steals.

Defensively, Mackenzie Brokaw put up her fourth consecutive double figure saves performance with 13 blocks against the Matadors. The senior also added two steals.  Not to be overlooked, Camila Schafer came up with big defensive plays in the second half, as she finished the game with a team-high three steals and a field block.

After a contentious battle in the first half, the Gauchos took control of the game's momentum in the third quarter and never looked back, as they outscored CSUN 3-1 in the final 16 minutes.

First, UCSB's offense went to work and regained the lead with Hudson delivering a high-arching lob shot over Matador keeper Niki Van Vugt.

The Gauchos were able to preserve that narrow one-goal edge thanks to some tenacious defense through the rest of the quarter. Brokaw came up with two big saves, including one denying Madeleine Sanchez's penalty shot. Schafer also denied a point-blank shot for CSUN with her field block at the 2:47 mark, while senior Lauren Martin made a key steal in front of the goal.

The Gaucho offense was quick to score in the fourth with Shore drawing an ejection to set up a power play that was finished off with senior Samantha Murphy's scorching shot from straight on to get the 5-3 lead.

For good measure, UCSB found the back of the cage one more time with Shore feeding Miranda Schrader the ball at the right wing, stretching the team's lead out to 6-3.

CSUN's final goal was too little, too late, as the Gauchos controlled the clock the rest of the way to seal the 6-4 victory.

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