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Friday, January 18 , 2019, 10:49 am | Fair 60º

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

UCSB Water Polo Takes 5th in Big West With Sudden-Victory Decision

Annie Mortimer scored the game-winning goal in the third sudden death period to lead the UC Santa Barbara women's water polo team to a thrilling 10-9 victory over CSUN in the fifth-place match in the Big West Tournament at the Anteaters Aquatics Complex on Saturday afternoon.

It was a low scoring first half that saw CSUN score one goal in the first period and UCSB respond with the equalizer on a Sarah Snyder goal in the second period to make it a 1-1 tie entering the break.

The Gauchos broke through with a big third period, outscoring the Matadors 5-1 to take a firm 6-2 lead heading into the fourth. After tallying a hat-trick in the first round on Friday, Kate Pipkin continued her strong play and scored twice in the third while Sarah Kreiser and Emily Martin also scored to help UCSB pull ahead.

CSUN, however, responded with four unanswered goals in the fourth period, tying the game on a five-meter penalty with under a minute remaining to force overtime.

In the overtime periods, UCSB struck first as Snyder found the back of the net on an assist from Kreiser to give the Gauchos a brief 7-6 lead. CSUN tied the game again in the second overtime period before Natalie Selin and Kreiser recorded back-to-back goals to make it 9-7 with just 46 seconds remaining.

The Matadors managed two goals 19 seconds apart, with the game-tying goal coming with just 10 seconds on the clock, to force sudden death. Neither team scored through the first two sudden death periods until Mortimer cashed in the game-winner with 3:26 on the clock in the third sudden death on an assist from Kreiser to win the game.

Pipkin, Snyder and Kreiser led the Gauchos with two goals apiece while Mortimer, Martin, Selin and Mollie Simmons also added goals. Simmons went a perfect 9-0 in sprints throughout the match. In the cage, Kenzi Snyder and Becca Buck combined for eight saves.

CSUN was led by four goals from Katelyn Fairchild.

UCSB finishes the season 16-13 overall and returns the bulk of its core lineup, graduating just one senior in Mortimer.

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