UC Irvine women’s water polo finished out a five game homestand, going 4-1 with their sole loss coming in the hands of No.1 ranked Stanford Trees. All other opponents that No. 7 ‘Eaters beat were ranked in the top 20, except for No. 22 Harvard. UCI women’s polo had three games during spring break, starting with a 3-8 loss to Stanford Monday, March 26 and finishing with a pair of games Saturday, first a win over Big West Opponent the No.17 UCSB 7-2, and then another win over No. 12 Hartwick 12-8 bringing the ‘Eaters overall record to 9-11.
The Stanfords Trees proved a formidable opponent for UCI, who managed three goals but could not recover after an explosive five goals first period for Stanford. UCI managed two goals of their own in the first coming from senior attacker Allie Loomis and freshman center Christina Reyes. The Trees would add a point in each remaining quarter, while senior center Natalie Seidemann was able to provide UCI’s only goal after the first in the third. The ‘Eaters were outshot 28-22 and junior goalkeeper Jenna Phreaner made nine saves in the 3-8 loss. The ‘Eaters had a three game winning streak snapped, but looked to recover with two games later in the week.
The ‘Eaters looked to bounce back in its game against Big West opponent the UCSB Gauchos. UCSB was first to score, just 19 seconds into the first, but UCI maintained composure and responded with four goals of their own in the first. Natalie Seidemann netted the first pair of goals for UCI, and Allie Loomis and freshman Kayleigh Schultz scored the next two. The ‘Eaters would continue to keep UCSB off the board through the remainder of the first half. Jenna Phreaner in net had 10 saves on the Gauchos’ 24 shots. Natalie Seidemann scored again in the second, earning a Hat trick. Tara Prentice also scored giving the Anteaters a 6-1 lead at the half.
Each each team would tack on another point, UCSB’s coming by way of five-meter penalty shot. Phreaner stopped a five-meter penalty shot earlier in the game but could not do so again. Megan Falcon scored in the fourth bringing the score to 7-2.
A little over four hours after their dominant win over UCSB the ‘Eaters took on Hartwick. For the first time in three games UCI scored first, when Tara prentice beat the Hartwick Goalkeeper with 5:32 left in the first. Hartwick quickly responded and with under a minute to go UCI retook the lead with a goal from Isabel Rack. All three goals in the first were powerplay goals. UCI went 3-6 on power plays throughout the game, while Hartwick only managed three goals on their 11 chances. Hartwick took the lead in the second scoring three goals to UCI’s first, coming from Isabel Rack for her second of the game. One of the three goals from Hartwick came on a five-meter penalty. At the half UCI trailed 3-4, but had a huge third period burst of offense scoring six goals and holding Hartwick to one. Tara Prentice had two goals during the outburst earning a Hattrick. In the final frame, each team traded three goals. Tara Prentice added another goal bringing her total to four on the game. UCI beat Hartwick 12-8 outshooting them 30-29.
The ‘Eaters head north to take on Big West opponent UC Davis Saturday, April 6, and then University of the Pacific the next day.