Water polo downs UCSB 12-7 in season opener
Alicia Brightwell notched four goals and the #6 Arizona State University women’s water polo team downed #17 UC Santa Barbara, 12-7, in the team’s 2012 season opener at the UCSB Campus Pool in Santa Barbara, Calif., on Friday afternoon.
Six Sun Devils found the scoreboard in the competition and the defense had a solid effort for much of the game to get the season started on a high note for ASU.
Brightwell, a senior who has spent the past couple years as a member of the Australia Senior National Team while competing at the University of Sydney, made an impact in her first Division I game as she led all scorers with her four goals to pace the Sun Devils (1-0) while sophomore Ianeta Hutchinson added 10 saves against the Gauchos (2-4).
Brightwell put in two goals in the first quarter to help the ASU squad to a 3-1 lead heading into the second, where she added a third goal to help the Sun Devils to a 6-2 advantage at the midway point of the game.
The Sun Devils cruised from there as senior Mariam Salloum added two goals in the third along with a goal apiece from Shannon Haas and Annabelle Carter as ASU outscored UCSB four goals to one in the frame to take an impressive 10-3 lead into the final quarter.
Brightwell added her fourth goal of the game in the final quarter and freshman Petra Pardi notched her first career goal as ASU withstood a late flurry of Gaucho goals to hold on for the 12-7 victory.
Hutchinson nabbed 10 saves on 17 Gaucho attempts for nearly a 59 percent save percentage while also stopping three of UCSB’s six attempts when the Gauchos had a player-advantage due to exclusion fouls.
The Sun Devils will remain in Santa Barbara for the remainder of the weekend as they take part in the UCSB Winter Invite which will see the squad face off with four schools over Saturday and Sunday, including #7 UC-Irvine tomorrow. Events will kick off at 9:05 a.m. PT for ASU as the team takes on Santa Clara before facing UC-Irvine at 12:20 p.m.
Check back at TheSunDevils.com at the conclusion of each day’s events for a full recap of the team’s games at the tournament.
#6 Arizona State def. #17 UC Santa Barbara, 12-7
ASU – 3-3-4-2 = 12
UCSB – 1-1-1-4 = 7
ASU: Brightwell 4, Salloum 2, Carter 2, Haas 2, Pardi, White
UCSB: Creek 3, Winton 2, Hafferkamp, Martin
ASU: Hutchinson 10
UCSB: Milne 9