Anteaters Lose First Home Game
With only 1:36 left in the fourth quarter, the no. 5 Anteater women’s water polo team faced a crushing blow as they lost their first home game this season to no. 3 UCLA with the score 5-6.
Coming off of an 8-3 loss to USC on Feb. 9, the Anteaters now with a record of 9-4, hosted a match at the Anteater Aquatic Complex Thursday night for the first time this season with hopes to defend their home turf with a win.
The game started with the Anteaters’ Hillary Estrada scoring the first goal of the game in 1:21. With the Anteaters unable to hold onto the lead, the Bruins answered back with a goal by Emily Donahoe with 4:09 left in the first quarter. The rest of the quarter stood still as it came to an end with the score tied 1-1.
Entering into the second quarter, the Bruins’ Mackenzie Barr scored a goal within 1:50 putting the score at 2-1 Bruins. As the quarter continued, the Anteaters were able to answer back with two back-to-back goals only 0:42 apart by Jesse Cardey and Hannah Croghan, ending the quarter with the Anteaters up 2-3.
Entering into thethird quarter, the Anteaters’ lead did not go unanswered for very long as UCLA’s Emily Donohoe scored her second goal of the night and put the game at a 3-3 tie. Placing the Anteaters ahead of the game for the third time, McKenna Mitchell scored her first goal of the night, and put UCI ahead with 3-4 at the end of the third quarter.
Going into the fourth quarter, UCLA’s Kodi Hill scored in less than 2:00 from the start of the quarter, tying the game 4-4. Anteaters’ Jesse Cardey would not let that tie stand as she slammed in her second goal of the night with 4:37 left on the clock and placing UCI into the lead 4-5. It did not take very long for the Bruins to answer back as Rachel Fattal scored the tying goal with 4:08 left in the quarter. With less than two minutes left in the game, the Bruins’ Mackenzie Barr scored the final goal, ending the game with the Anteaters losing 5-6.
The Lady Anteaters started the season by winning all of their games at the UCSB Winter Invite and putting them at 4-0. These wins were against Cal Baptist, San Jose State, Cal State Monterey Bay, and Arizona State. Unfortunately, they won only half of their games about a week later at the Stanford Invitational, putting them at 6-2 against Hawaii, UC Davis, Stanford, and USC. About a week later in the Triton Invitational, they won three of four games putting their record to 9-3. Now, with the loss against UCLA, the no. 3 Anteaters find themselves with a record of 9-4 overall. The ’Eaters remain 0-0 in conference play as their first MPSF match is on Feb. 28 against Hawaii.
The Anteaters may have had two losses in a row, but that is not keeping them from having faith in the ability of their team. “I think the future is good,” said junior Jesse Cardey, one of UCI’s top scorers of the night. “We only have room to improve. I mean, it’s still early on in the season, and we want to be our best at the end of the season. So, slowly as the season progresses we will keep working hard and hopefully we will get there.”
The Lady Anteaters return to action on Saturday Feb. 22 – Feb. 23 for the UCI Invitational at Anteater Aquatics Complex.