49ers Battle Back Against Aggies In Big West Showdown

Junior Erin Schlueter had four steals and three drawn kickouts in Saturday's thriller with No. 9 Long Beach State.
(Mark Honbo, Athletics Communications)

March 30, 2013

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DAVIS, Calif. - Senior attacker Carmen Eggert scored four of her five total goals to boost UC Davis to a 4-2 start and a 6-4 edge late in the second quarter, but the 15th-ranked Aggies were unable to contain No. 9 Long Beach State's outside shooting, falling in a 9-8 Big West Conference women's water polo battle at Schaal Aquatics Center Saturday afternoon.

The Aggies fall to 12-14 overall and 0-5 in conference play, with four Big West losses decided by a single goal each. The 49ers improve to 21-4 for the year and even their league record to 2-2.

Eggert scored three goals in the first quarter and another in the second. Senior Jessica Dunn scored two of her three goals in the second frame. For LBSU, senior Melissa Matheson netted a hat trick while junior Chelsea Parks added two fourth-quarter strikes.

UC Davis jumped to a 3-1 start in the first four minutes of play, all on goals by Eggert. The two-time All-American hit a second-chance goal after a power play with 5:22 remaining, hit a 6-on-5 goal after Erin Schlueter drew an exclusion in transition with 4:33 left, then nailed an outside shot at the 3:47 mark. Matheson, who broke up Eggert's run with a two-meter goal midway in the first, cut the Aggie lead to one with 22 seconds to go when she beat the shot clock on another goal out of set.

In the second quarter, it was Dunn's turn to boost UC Davis offensively. Dunn scored on an extra-man opportunity at the 6:34 mark and converted an assist from Alex Rawlinson with 1:13 left. Eggert popped her fourth goal of the game, taking a pass from lefty Paige Oreglia at the two, then sending it bar-down into the LBSU cage.

However, the 49ers scored on three outside shots to stay within a goal in the second period. Coriann Snyder fired in a shot from the two spot with 5:40 to go. Kayla Roberts hit a goal when Aggie goalkeeper Riane Woods corralled the ball just beyond the plane of the cage with 3:41 left. Then Justine Morgan ended the half when her long lob deflected into the net.

LBSU turned the 6-5 halftime deficit into a 7-6 lead on goals by Matheson and Parks in the third and fourth periods. Morgan had a chance to extend the lead even further early in the third when she managed two 6-on-5 shots in quick succession. But Eggert stopped the first for one of her two field blocks, while Woods nabbed the second with one of her eight goalie saves.

Soon after Parks' goal gave the 49ers the lead with five minutes left in the fourth, Dunn tied the contest at the 3:57 mark when she hauled in a perfect cross pass from sophomore Keelia Houston and directed it by the near post out of the reach of LBSU goalie Kelly Ringel. Woods posted another big save against Snyder on a 6-on-5 chance to keep the score evened up, but the Beach continued to find spots from long range. Christina Kotsia delivered a goal from deep in the four position with 1:43 left, then Parks struck in similar fashion but from the two spot less than a minute later.

Eggert struck for her fifth goal, converting an assist from Houston on an Aggie 6-on-5 chance with 0:25 remaining. UC Davis even assigned attacker Erin Schlueter a goalkeeper's cap to improve its chances for a last-minute equalizer, but Long Beach State successfully prevented the Aggies from stopping the clock or gaining possession, protecting its second victory for the weekend.

UC Davis continues a string of four straight home conference games against Hawai'i on Friday. Game time is 4 p.m. at Schaal Aquatics Center.

#9 Long Beach State (21-4, 2-2) 2 3 1 3 - 9
#15 UC Davis (12-14, 0-5) 3 3 0 2 - 8

GOALS - LBSU: Melissa Matheson 3, Chelsea Parks 2, Coriann Snyder 1, Kayla Robert 1, Justine Morgan 1, Christina Kotsia 1. UC Davis: Carmen Eggert 5, Jessica Dunn 3.

GOALIE SAVES - LBSU: Kelly Ringel 8 (32:00). UC Davis: Riane Woods 9 (31:35), Erin Schlueter 0 (0:25).