BERKELEY, Calif. - The women's water polo team fell short of a road victory against No. 4 Cal at Spieker Aquatics Complex on Saturday.
No. 10 Pacific kept things close with the Golden Bears throughout the majority of the match but would endure a 6-2 third period by Cal to fall behind and drop their top-ten showdown.
The Tigers fall to 2-3 in nonconference play while Cal moves to 6-1. The Orange and Black regroup and shift focus to their next event, UC Irvine's Barbara Kalbus Invitational held on Feb. 22nd-24th.
Pacific vs. Cal - In Case You Missed It:
- Both teams battled back and fourth as the match was knotted up four times and niether team could muster up a lead larger than two through the first two periods of play.
- Kyra Christmas proved why she was last year's GCC Player of the Year finishing with three goals, three assists, and a game-high four drawn exclusions in her first official game back from injury.
- Mariana Duarte finally found her rhythm on the offensive end logging a game-best four goals off 4-8 shooting. All four of the São Paolo, Brazile native's goals would come off of power play drives.
- The Tigers would hang in contention with the Golden Bears but would eventually surrender six goals in the third period to have Cal jump out to a 14-8 lead and never look back.
- Pacific drew 12 exclusions in the contest and converted on six of those drives. Duarte would either score or assist on 5-6 of the Tigers' powerplays.
- The Tigers found good opportunities to score to open up the match connecting on three goals in the period.
- An early goal by Viktoria Szmodics (7:33) helped UOP jump out to an early 1-0 lead.
- Mariana Duarte scored two of her four total goals in the opening frame, one at the 5:29 mark and one at the 1:06 mark which evened up the score at three all.
- Down two scores, Junior Truly Dorland would draw two pivotal exclusions setting up Savannah Fitzgerald (6:22) and Duarte (5:25) with power play goals to tie the match up, 5-5.
- Kyra Christmas got her first goal of the season on a 6-on-5 score with 3:56 to go.
- The Tigers would take two more shots on goal following Christmas' score but the Bears would hold their own heading into halftim with a 8-6 advantage.
- Chirstmas continued to keep things flowing for the UOP following the break sending a solo shot to the back off the end off an assist by Viktoria Tamas. Her second score of the match trimmed Cal's lead back to a two-point deficit, 9-7, with 6:08 left.
- Szmodics connected on a goal at even strength at the four-minute mark but the Bears scored three unanswered to extend their lead over the Tigers to six (14-8).
- Szmodics led the Tigers with four shots in the frame.
- The Tigers outscored the Bears, 3-1, in the final frame. Christmas, Duarte, and freshman Briana Utas each chipped in one a piece.
- Pacific would press Cal and force eight turnovers in the quarter.
- Christmas took four of her nine shots in the final period. Six of her nine total shots on goal would come in the second half.
- Kyra Christmas affected the match in multiple categories in her first game of 2019. The two-time All-American recorded her first hat trick and dished out three assists to finish with six total points for the day. Christmas' point total along with her four drawn exclusions and three steals would all be a game-high in Saturday's contest.
- Mariana Duarte finally found her mark today shooting an efficient .500 from the field. The junior was 4-21 prior to that shooting .190 in four appearances.
- Viktoria Szmodics makes it four straight matches with a goal scored. The senior currently leads the Orange and Black with 13 goals and nine assists this year.
Up Next for the Tigers:
- The Tigers take a week off of play and prepare for another nonconference tournament at UCI's Barbara Kalbus Invitational.
- The three-day tournament will run from Friday, Feb. 22nd through Sunday, Feb. 24th.
- Pacific's opponents are still yet to be determined.
- UOP went 1-2 last year at the Anteater Invite, taking a 12-11 overtime victory over hosts UCI while dropping two matches to NCAA Tournament runner-up Stanford and then No. 8 ranked Hawaii.