WWP: Gauchos overcome slow start, beat LMU

LOS ANGELES — Jessie Porter scored on a five-meter penalty shot to lift UCSB to come-from-behind 10-9 nonconference women’s water polo win at Loyola Marymount on Thursday

The Gauchos started sluggish and conceded four goals to the Lions in the first period. The lone goal in the opening period for the Gauchos came from senior Rachel Nelson.

Freshman Samantha Murphy scored a quick goal for the Gauchos to start the second period. With a late 6-on-5 goal from Jessie Porter, the Gauchos cut into the Lion’s lead as the score at the half was 5-3.

Murphy scored twice in the third period, leaving the Gauchos behind by just one, 7-6.

The fourth period proved to be a nail biter. LMU scored first in the period, but Murphy quickly answered back with her fourth goal of the game. With 3:39 remaining, UCSB finally tied the game, 9-9, with a 6-on-5 goal by Rachel Nelson. Coming down to the wire, LMU committed a crucial penalty, creating a five-meter shot for the Gauchos.Porter kept her composure and netted the score, lifting UCSB to a thrilling victory.

Murphy led the attack for UCSB with four goals while Porter tallied three goals of her own. Senior Rachel Nelson scored two while Bryn Hudson added one goal.

Senior All Big West goalkeeper Ruth Milne was the leader for the defense as she recorded five saves.

No. 15 UC Santa Barbara (13-7) will return home as they host its mini tournament, Sunday, March 17. The first match against St. Francis (N.Y.) will tip off at 8 a.m. while the next two matches start at 10:30 a.m. and 3:45 p.m. against Marist and Iona.