Long Beach State women’s water polo team played with intensity and determination, making a comeback against UC Santa Barbara to win Saturday night’s match 12-6.
The Ken Lindgren Aquatics Center was full of parents, friends and fans of the players demonstrating their enthusiasm with foam fingers and posters for senior night.
In a game where The Beach had to play a game of catch up, players like freshman attacker Elisa Portillo were key in regaining the lead to secure the win.
Portillo led in scoring with four goals and had six shots on target showing the persistence in distancing the team from the Gauchos in the scoreboard.
Sophomore attacker Martina Cardona, junior utility player Anne De Kleer, and senior attacker Gabriella Matafora-Adams played a role as well in the games result with Cardona and De Kleer scoring three goals each and Matafora-Adams tacking on two.
The Gauchos opened the score board early on in the game scoring two back to back goals before The Beach started to showcase its offense.
Even after scoring its first goal in the match The Beach didn’t have it easy with the first two periods having both teams going back and forth with scoring.
It wasn’t until the third period where The Beach started to have more control of the match.
In the last five minutes of the match LBSU displayed its poise scoring four goals back to back.
“We were playing aggressive from the beginning, just our shots weren’t going so the biggest thing was just for them to continue shooting, continue to be aggressive on the counter,” head coach Shana Welch said.
Welch acknowledged how there’s still things the team needs to work on to prepare for upcoming matches.
“So always defense is our focus and you know, defensively we had a very sound game tonight so we can continue to build on that,” Welch said.
With a match that for a majority neither team was in control, fouls weren’t an exception.
Both The Beach and the Gauchos had 13 exclusions by the end of the game.
The Long Beach State women’s water polo team improves to (16-6, 4-1) will travel to Davis where they face off against the Aggies on April 15 in an effort to extend its three game winning streak.