April 24, 2010

#2 Seed Cal State Northridge Downs #3 Seed UC Santa Barbara, 11-5, in Big West Tourney Semifinals

April 24, 2010

Long Beach, Calif. - For the fourth time this year, Cal State Northridge faced UC Santa Barbara in women's water polo, and for the fourth time this season, the Matadors proved victorious.

Saturday afternoon's 11-5 victory over the third-seeded Gauchos in the semi-finals of the Big West Tournament at Long Beach State moved the second-seeded Matadors (28-7) into the championship game of the tournament on Sunday at 3:45 p.m. against fourth-seeded UC Irvine (14-14). Earlier in the day, the 16th-ranked UC Irvine Anteaters upset top-seed and 12th-ranked Pacific, 10-7, in the semifinals.

Cal State Northridge, ranked eleventh in the nation, outscored the Gauchos, 7-2, in the second half en route to the team's 28th victory (28-7) of the season. Heidi Pettinger and Chelsea Curran recorded three goals apiece and Sydney Sonoda chipped in with a pair of goals to the lead the Matador attack. Jillian Stapf collected eleven saves.

It was a game of runs as the Matadors raced 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 led 4-3 at halftime.

However, Cal State Northridge reasserted itself and reeled off another four goals in a row in the third period. Whitney Delgado 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. Delgado's goal gave her 75 for the season, a new school record.

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.

The CSUN-UCI meeting on Sunday afternoon (3:45 p.m.) will be the second of the year between each team. On April 2, the Matadors recorded an 11-9 double overtime decision over UC Irvine. The score ended 8-8 in regulation but three goals in the first overtime period insured victory for Cal State Northridge. Seven CSUN players scored at least one goal with Kristin McLaughlin leading the way with three goals. Whitney Delgado and Sydney Sonoda each scored two goals. Jillian Stapf collected 12 saves.

Cal State Northridge (28-7) 2-2-4-3=11
UC Santa Barbara (18-11) 0-3-0-2=5
CSUN Scorers: Heidi Pettinger 3, Chelsea Curran 3, Sydney Sonoda 2, Whitney Delgado 1, Renee Gargiulo 1, Kristin McLaughlin 1
UCSB Scorers: Katie Kepner 1, Claire Buchanan 1, Lizzie Rouleau 1, Christie Clark 1, Nancy Ruano 1
Goalie Saves: Jillian Stapf (CSUN) 11; Ruth Milne (UCSB) 5

Friday, April 23, 2010 at the Big West Tournament
#3 UC Santa Barbara 15, #6 Long Beach State 14 (sv)
#4 UC Irvine 9, #5 UC Davis 3

Saturday, April 24, 2010 at the Big West Tournament
#4 UC Irvine 10, #1 Pacific 7
#2 Cal State Northridge 11, #3 UC Santa Barbara 5

Sunday, April 25, 2010 at the Big West Tournament
Noon - #5 UC Davis (15-17) vs #6 Long Beach State (8-20) - 5th Place Game
2:00 p.m. - #1 Pacific (22-10) vs UC Santa Barbara (18-11) - 3rd Place Game
3:45 p.m. - #2 Cal State Northridge (28-7) vs #4 UC Irvine (14-14) - Championship Game