BAKERSFIELD, Calif.--Jessica Browning (Sr., Lake Forest, Calif., El Toro HS) scored five goals but No. 15 UC Santa Barbara came away with 13-10 victory over CSUB Bakersfield 13-10 in the 2013 season opening water polo match Friday.
The Gauchos scored three first half power play goals to take a 7-3 lead into the break. Browning scored three of her goals in the third period as Santa Barbara took a 10-7 advantage in the final stanza. Shannon McKenzie (R-Sr., Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., Rancho Cucamonga HS) made it 10-8 51 seconds in the fourth, but Rachel Nelson scored her fourth goal of the day with 3:49 to go for a three-goal UCSB lead.
Browning's penalty shot 23 seconds later got CSUB back to within two, but the Gauchos took advantage of back-to-back Roadrunner turnovers to increase their lead to 13-9. Browning would close the scoring in the match with her fifth at the 2:04 mark of the fourth quarter.
CSUB was hampered by turnovers as the Roadrunners had a total of 13 against UCSB. Alex Bayer (So., Alta Loma, Calif., Alta Loma HS) was strong in between the pipes for CSUB as she made 10 saves.
"We got off to a slow start," said CSUB head coach Jason Gall. "I thought we matched up well and did enough good things to win, but we didn't execute. We are going to have to make better decisions (as we move forward). We proved we can play with teams of UCSB's caliber."
The Roadrunners are at the UC Santa Barbara Invitational next weekend. CSUB plays the host Anteaters who are No. 6 in Division (10:40 a.m.) and Concordia-Irvine (6 p.m.) Jan. 26. Sunday Jan. 27 sees the Roadrunners take on No. 1 Stanford in a non-conference match at 9:10 a.m. and Pacific at 12:40 a.m.
UC Santa Barbara 13, CSU Bakersfield 10
UCSB Goals-Rachel Nelson 4, Samantha Murphy 3, Jane Wentz Fitzgerald 2, Lauren Martin 2, Nancy Ruano 1, Byrn Hudson 1.
UCSB Saves-Ruth Milne 4
CSUB Saves-Alex Bayer 10