The No. 4 University of Hawai’i Rainbow Wahine water polo team (18-6, 3-1) saw their five game winning streak come to an end at the hands of the No. 14 UC Santa Barbara Gauchos (14-11, 2-1) by a score of 7-5, this Sunday evening in Santa Barbara, California.
It was a back and forth affair to begin the match, with no team really jumping out to any sort of lead. The Gauchos struck first to take an early 1-0 lead, but it was short lived after attacker Danika Kotylak countered with a goal of her own tying up the score 1-1.
Again, the Gauchos scored though to take another advantage in the first period. However, freshman Femke Aan netted her first-ever goal on a buzzer beater to tie up the score once again.
In the second period, Hawai’i took the lead again off of an attacker Irene Gonzalez goal to take the lead over the Gauchos. However, UCSB retaliated with a goal of their own to knot things up at three a piece headed into the break.
The third period was the difference for the Gauchos, as they outscored the Wahine 3-1 to really take control of the match. UCSB came out of the break reenergized, scoring back-to-back points on UH.
However, the ‘Bows scored to end their momentum and managed to trail by only one, but the Gauchos responded with a goal to put their lead up, 6-4.
With all the emphasis on defense, the ‘Bows were unable to really generate any offense headed into the fourth period. They held off UCSB to just one goal in the fourth, as the ‘Bows tried to play catch up.
The Gauchos then knocked in their final goal to take a 7-4 advantage at the 3:51 mark, but despite a utility Julia Barton goal the damage had already been done. The Wahine then fell to the UCSB Gauchos, 7-5.
The ‘Bows look to finish the regular season in a final home match against the No. 16 Long Beach State Forty-Niners on Saturday, April 16 at 6:00 p.m. at the Duke Kahanamoku Aquatics Complex.