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No. 7 Arizona State Edges No. 17 UCSB, 5-4

Christie Clark and Gillian Morgan each score two as Gauchos play solid match.

Addison McGrath scored three goals, including two in the second half on 5-meter penalty shots, to lead seventh-ranked Arizona State past No. 17 UCSB, 5-4, in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation women’s water polo match Saturday in Santa Barbara.

The win marked the Sun Devils’ 100th since the team has competed at the varsity level. Arizona State is now 100-111 in seven seasons. The win was also ASU’s seventh in a row.

McGrath’s third goal, and second 5-meter penalty shot, came with 2:34 remaining in the match and gave Arizona State (18-9 overall, 4-4 in MPSF) a 5-3 lead. With 2:11 to play, UCSB sophomore Christie Clark scored her second goal of the match, a 6-on-5 tally, to pull the Gauchos within one, 5-4. In the final two minutes, UCSB (4-15 overall, 0-9 in MPSF) had some opportunities to tie, but could not put the ball in the back of the net.

Clark scored her first goal and gave UCSB a 1-0 lead as she drilled a shot from about 15 meters out as the buzzer sounded to end the first quarter. The advantage was short-lived as ASU’s Kelly Phelps scored a 6-on-5 goal just 44 seconds into the second quarter. The Sun Devils took their first lead of the match with 6:20 remaining in the first half as McGrath scored during a 6-on-5.

Junior Gillian Morgan helped the Gauchos pull even when she tallied the first of her two goals with 3:25 to play. Morgan’s score, another 6-on-5 goal, came from the left side and went just inside the left post.

McGrath scored her first five-meter penalty shot with just 1:24 to play in the third quarter, snapping the 2-2 deadlock. Bonnie Miles gave the Sun Devils a 4-2 edge when she found the back of the net with just under five minutes to play in the final quarter. Morgan responded for the Gauchos, knocking home her second goal with 3:12 to play. McGrath and Clark then traded their goals in the final minutes, resulting in the 5-4 final.

Senior Jenny Gonzales was outstanding in goal for UCSB as she compiled six saves. ASU’s Kaitlyn Morris was solid as well, turning back five shots.

The Gauchos will remain at home to host sixth-ranked Cal at noon Sunday at the Recreation Center Pool.

Bill Mahoney is UCSB‘s assistant athletics director.

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