No. 8 seed UC Irvine‘s five-goal first period lifted it to an 8-5 victory over 12th-seeded UC Santa Barbara on Saturday, day three of the women’s water polo Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament. The Anteaters improve to 16-11 on the season. The Gauchos drop to 6-20.

UCI erupted for five goals in the first quarter to take a 5-2 lead after eight minutes of action. The Gauchos then made their adjustments on defense as they held the Anteaters scoreless in the second frame while tacking on another goal to cut their deficit to 5-3 at the half.

Irvine’s offensive struggles continued in the third frame as it was shut out for the second consecutive period. UCSB scored with a little more than three minutes remaining in the quarter to pull within one at 5-4. The Anteaters ended their scoring drought in the final stanza, finding the back of the cage at the 4:28 mark before adding a pair of insurance goals to come away with the win.

Julia Fancher recorded a hat trick while Lauren Machanis had a game-high 12 saves for the Anteaters. Lindsay Knott led the Gauchos with two goals.

UCSB will play 10th-seeded Long Beach State in the tournament’s 11th-place game at 9 a.m. Sunday at San Diego State‘s Aztex Aquaplex.

Lisa Skvarla is UCSBs assistant media relations director.

UC Irvine 8, UC Santa Barbara 5

      1  2  3  4  Final

UCI    5  0  0  3  8

UCSB    2  1  1  1  5

UCI Goals: Fancher 3, Frost 2, Lewis, Taylor, Collyer

UCSB Goals: Lindsay Knott 2, Lizzie Rouleau, Christie Clark, Amanda Tipton

UCI Goalie Saves: Machanis 12

UCSB Goalie Saves: Jenny Gonzales 8