April 24, 2010
LONG BEACH - Cal State Northridge outscored UC Santa Barbara 7-2 in the second half en route to an 11-5 victory in the semifinals of the Big West Women's Water Polo Tournament Saturday.
The second-seeded Matadors (28-7) advanced to Sunday's championship game at 3:45 p.m. against No. 4 seed UC Irvine.
Heidi Pettinger and Chelsea Curran recorded hat tricks and Sydney Sonoda chipped in with a pair of goals to lead the Matador offensive attack. Jillian Stapf made 11 saves to hold down the UCSB offense.
Five different Gauchos scored in the match and freshman goalkeeper Ruth Milne notched five saves.
It was a game of runs as the Matadors raced out to a 4-0 lead midway through the second quarter, but watched the Gauchos respond with three straight scores of their own in the final two minutes. CSUN went into halftime with a 4-3 lead.
However, the Matadors reasserted themselves and reeled off another four goals in a row in the third period. Whitney Delgado, the Big West's second-leading goal scorer, capped off the run with a bounce shot at the 3:42 mark. Stapf made three saves in the third period as CSUN led 8-3.
Both teams went into a scoring frenzy in the fourth quarter as CSUN scored three times and UCSB twice in a span of 1:33. Lizzie Rouleau capped off UCSB's scoring with a goal at 5:19.
The Gauchos (18-11) lost for the fourth time this season to the Matadors, which will be making their first appearance in the Big West championship game.
UCSB plays top-seeded Pacific, which fell 10-7 to UC Irvine earlier, in the third place game at 2:00 p.m. Sunday. Fifth-seeded UC Davis and sixth-seeded Long Beach State meet in the fifth place game at noon.
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