Late explosion lifts Hawaii to claim seventh place finish vs. UC San Diego
PALO ALTO, Calif. -- Hawaii (19-10) finished seventh at the 2015 NCAA Women's Water Polo Championships, defeating UC San Diego (19-21) 13-8 Sunday afternoon at the Avery Aquatic Center at Stanford University.
The Tritons took an early lead on their first possession, with Lauren Boyer scoring the first goal of the match just over 15 seconds in. However, Gabi Mantellato Dias quickly responded for UH, with a swift backhand shot to tie it 1-1. After a 3-0 scoring run by the Tritons, Zoe Respondek finally capped UCSD's advantage, scoring with just over one minute remaining but following a penalty called on Chillida Esforzado, UCSD stretched out to a strong 5-2 lead after Tittle's conversion.
Out of intermission, sophomore Chloe Barr snuck a goal in past the Tritons' goalie but UCSD responded with a cross-cage shot off of a Rainbow Wahine exclusion. However, midway through the second, UH gained new momentum, as Barr, Carr and Claire Nixon scored three-in-a-row to tie it 6-6 by halftime.
UH pushed for three more goals in a row to open the third quarter with Mantellato Dias, Respondek, and Carr giving the Rainbow Wahine a 6-0 advantage for a 9-6 lead. UCSD answered back, cutting the lead down to 9-7, but Caity Lopes da Silva responded with a cross-cage skip-shot followed by two more goals by Mantellato Dias and Carr by the end of the period for a dominating 12-7 lead.
In the final quarter, UH held the Tritons to just one goal, while Chillida Esforzado scored the final goal of the match to end it 13-8.