Senior attacker Irene Gonzalez puts up a career high and a Big West Tournament single-game record of six goals to lead the No. 2 Rainbow Wahine water polo team to a 14-7 win over No. 3 UC Davis Saturday afternoon at the Ken Lindgren Aquatics Center in Long Beach, California during the semifinals of the Big West Conference Tournament.
UH got off to a hot start, as Gonzalez put up a pair of goals in the opening period, setting the pace for the Rainbow Wahine. Junior center Elyse Lemay-Lavoie added another UH goal, forcing a timeout for UC Davis (18-12). The Aggies were able to bounce back, closing the first period on a 2-0 scoring run.
The Rainbow Wahine's hot shooting continued in the second quarter, scoring three straight goals to extend their lead to 6-2. However, the Aggies finished the quarter strong, scoring two late goals to close the margin 6-4 heading into halftime.
As the game went on, the Wahine showed that they had too many offensive options for the Aggies to handle, outscoring the Aggies 8-3 in the second half. UH started the third quarter connecting on all cylinders, with freshman attacker Maxine Schaap scoring as soon as the period began; 13 seconds in to be exact. The Rainbow Wahine would string together a total of five goals in the frame putting UH in a comfortable position.
UH closed out strong in the final eight minutes, scoring three more goals that would put away the Aggies.
In addition to Gonzalez's six goals, Schaap, Lemay-Lavoie and sophomore Carmen Baringo all chipped in two goals each with senior center Emma van Rossum and sophomore center Lalelei Mata'afa also scoring for the Rainbow Wahine.
Sophomore goalie Molly DiLalla had a solid game protecting the goal, recording five saves and one steal.
This win secured the Wahine’s second straight appearance in the championship game with a rematch against top-seeded UC Irvine. The match will be on Sunday, April 28 at the Ken Lindgren Aquatics Center at 11 a.m. HST.