Johnstone's Hat Trick Leads Aggies Past Gauchos

Feb. 29, 2004

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Senior attacker Alli Johnstone scored three goals - all in the first half - to lead UC Davis to a 5-4 win over UC Santa Barbara in the 11th-place game of the Gaucho Invitational women's water polo tournament Sunday. The Aggies split their second-day tournament action, falling to Loyola Marymount, 7-4, in the day's opening game.

UC Davis, ranked 14th in the preseason, moves to 11-6 on the year.

Goalkeeper Meggan Brownrigg posted a season-best 11 saves in the win over the Gauchos, including a block in the final seconds that preserved the win. Nicole Lorrimer and Tiffany Hodgens also scored goals in the nightcap.

Remarkably, the Aggies posted the victory despite All-American center Brittany Russell, who was injured in the game against Loyola Marymount. In her absence, UC Davis employed a committee of Alia Hansen, Anne Preble and Hodgens to fill the hole-setting duties.

Johnstone, Hodgens, Russell and Katherine O'Rourke each had one goal in the loss to the Lions. The Aggies struggled on 6-on-5 situations, shooting just 1-for-6; but in turn held LMU to 2-for-6 shooting when down a player. Nicole Hall had six saves and two steals in net during the opener.

"I was glad we got a chance to see them play," said UC Davis head coach, of his team's matchup with LMU. "We played them straight up and it was just two or three mental lapses that led to goals. We were focused and matched them physically. We got to see what they're all about."



UC Davis returns home to face third-ranked Stanford on March 5.