SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Looking for its first victory over a ranked opponent this season, the VMI water polo team fell by a 12-3 score to No. 17 UC Santa Barbara in the second match of its California trip Tuesday afternoon at Campus Pool in Santa Barbara, California.
Only down 2-1 at the end of the first period after a goal by Shelby Barkley, the match got away from the Keydets (12-8) in the second period when the Gauchos (13-9) scored four unanswered goals to take a 6-1 advantage at the half. VMI sophomore Emma Perez would score once in the third period and again in the fourth, but UC Santa Barbara maintained its dominance with another six goals in the second half en route to the 12-3 win.
Kate Pipkin scored four goals to lead the Gauchos while Sarah Kreiser, Mollie Simmons and Shannon Moran each scored twice.
Despite the loss, the Keydets were only outshot by a 33-31 margin and allowed just one goal out of three UCSB powerplay opportunities. Goalie Isabel French was given the loss in the cage for VMI although she garnered 10 saves on the day. Kenzi Snyder and Becca Buck split time in the net for the Gauchos and combined for 12 saves in the win.
The Keydets face Redlands on Wednesday at 7 p.m. PDT in Redlands, California for their third game of the Spring Furlough trip to southern California.