Defense leads the way in Santa Barbara’s opener

The defense took charge for Santa Barbara in its water polo season opener against Mira Costa on Saturday.

Sean McGee made 10 saves and Skyler Matthews picked off a team-high four steals to shut down the visiting Mustangs in a 7-3 win by the CIF Division 1 7th-ranked Dons.

It was Santa Barbara first win over Mira Costa in a season opener in six years. The Mustangs are ranked fifth in Division 3

Santa Barbara’s defense was especially tough in shorthanded situations. Mira Costa was 1 for 8 when it had the man advantage.

“Although we did not play great on offense, our defense and goalie play carried us to victory,” said Santa Barbara coach Mark Walsh.

Evan Robertson scored three goals and Tyler Heffernan came off the bench to add two goals to lead the Dons’ attack.

Santa Barbara travels to Oaks Christian on Tuesday.