Top-Seed Cal State Northridge Upset by #4 UC Santa Barbara

April 25, 2009

Stockton, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara's Gillian Morgan scored just under a minute into the sudden victory overtime period as the fourth-seeded Gauchos upset top-seeded Cal State Northridge, 6-5, in the semifinals of the Big West Conference Tournament on Saturday afternoon at the University of the Pacific.

UC Santa Barbara (17-12) will play in the Big West Championship match on Sunday at 3:45 p.m. against third-seeded UC Irvine (22-9). Cal State Northridge (20-15) will play in the third place match at 2:00 p.m. against second-seed UC Davis (22-10). UC Irvine upset UC Davis, 10-8, in the other semifinal game.

After a defensive first period, the Gauchos got on the board first with a goal from Amanda Tipton with 3:50 left in the quarter. The Matadors responded by capitalizing on a UC Santa Barbara ejection with a goal from Whitney Delgado with 1:39 left in the quarter.

UCSB broke the 1-1 tie when Gillian Morgan scored after a Matador ejection with 4:13 left in the half. Less than a minute later, Cal State Northridge knotted the game again with a goal from Renee Gargiulo with 3:43 remaining. The Gauchos took advantage of another Cal State Northridge ejection with a couple quick passes that lead to goal from Claire Buchanan to take a 3-2 lead with 2:21 left in the quarter. A Matador goal from Alison Pierce with 43 seconds left in the period tied the game at 3-3 heading into the break.

The third period featured more tough defense from both teams. A minute into the period, Jessica Coy scored on a 5-meter penalty shot to give Cal State Northridge its first lead of the game. The Gauchos answered with a goal from Kathryn Nelson with 3:20 left to tie the game for the sixth time at 4-4 heading into the fourth quarter. Neither team was able to break through with a goal in the final eight minutes as the match headed to overtime.

The first overtime period was as exciting as the previous four quarters. The Matadors jumped ahead with a goal from Sydney Sonoda with 1:04 left in the period. With only 32 seconds left in the period, UCSB's Amanda Tipton tied the game at 5-5. The second overtime period was another defensive battle. Each goalie recorded two saves as neither team was able to net a goal, sending the game to a sudden victory period.

As the match moved into sudden victory, Cal State Northridge won the sprint but was unable to get a shot off. On UCSB's first possession, UC Santa Barbara's Morgan lobbed a shot over Matador goalkeeper Jillian Stapf to upset the Matadors.

Stapf recorded 14 saves to give her 1,001 for her three-year Matador career. That is a school record along with a single season school record of 370.

Cal State Northridge (20-15) 1-2-1-1-0-0-0=5
UC Santa Barbara (17-11) 1-2-1-1-0-0-1=6
CSUN Scorers: Whitney Delgado 1, Alison Pierce 1, Renee Gargiulo 1, Jessica Coy 1, Sydney Sonoda 1
UCSB Scorers: Gillian Morgan 2, Amanda Tipton 2, Claire Buchanan 1, Kathryn Nelson 1
Goalie Saves: Jillian Stapf (CSUN) 14; Chelsea Carrillo (UCSB) 13

The 2009 Big West Women's Water Polo Championships (UOP, Stockton, Calif.)

Friday, April 24
Game 1 - #4 UC Santa Barbara 14, vs #5 Pacific 8
Game 2 - #3 UC Irvine 5, vs #6 Long Beach State 3

Saturday, April 25
Game 3 - #4 UC Santa Barbara 6, Cal State Northridge 5, sudden victory overtime
Game 4 - #3 UC Irvine 10, #2 UC Davis 8

Sunday, April 26
Fifth Place Game - #5 Pacific (9-24) vs #6 Long Beach State (8-24), 11:00 a.m.
Third Place Game - #1 Cal State Northridge (20-15) vs #2 UC Davis (22-10), 2:00 p.m.
Championship game - #4 UC Santa Barbara (17-11) vs #3 UC Irvine (22-9), 3:45 p.m.