UC Berkeley 8
UC Irvine 6
The UC Irvine women’s water polo team rallied back from an early 3-0 deficit and sent the game into overtime before falling short and suffering an 8-6 loss to the No. 4-ranked California Golden Bears on March 10 at the Anteater Aquatics Complex.
The loss was the third straight setback for the Anteaters (10-6 overall, 1-4 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation) after they had started the season winning seven of their first eight games.
UCI trailed at halftime by only one goal, 3-2, and seemed to have momentum on its side as it scored the last two goals of the half.
After the Golden Bears took a 4-2 lead, the Anteaters finally scored the equalizer in the fourth period.
Sophomores Nikki Frish and Julia Fancher came through for UCI in the final period scoring back-to-back goals to tie the game at four with just over six minutes remaining.
Cal would take a 5-4 lead and looked as if it was going to hold on for the victory.
Then, with just under a minute on the clock, the Anteaters went on an offensive barrage led by their senior leaders.
Senior Jackie Prine finally found an opening in the Cal defense and beat goalie Heather Stuart with a shot to tie the game at five with just 41 seconds left in the fourth period.
Neither team would score again at the end of regulation and the game was sent into the first of two overtime periods.
UCI took an early 6-5 lead when senior Robyn Kaake scored her second goal of the night with just over two minutes remaining in the first overtime. Kaake, who led the team in scoring last year, has been a scoring machine this year, recording a goal in five of the team’s last six games.
With their first lead of the game, the Anteaters needed a strong defensive effort to capture the victory.
Unfortunately, the team had some breakdowns late in the first overtime period, allowing the Golden Bears to tie the game at six.
In the second overtime period, things got much worse for the Anteaters as they were held scoreless and allowed two quick goals to Cal, resulting in the 8-6 defeat.
Kaake scored two goals for UCI while Frish, Fancher, Prine and sophomore Sarah Frost added one goal.
Junior goalie Lauren Machanis, who set the single season saves record for UCI last year, recorded four saves for Irvine.