Gauchos Edge Aggies In Fifth-Place Thriller

Elsie Fullerton's outside shooting resulted in a hat trick against No. 13 UC Santa Barbara Sunday.
(Wayne Tilcock, Davis Enterprise)

April 27, 2014

LONG BEACH, Calif. - Freshman Carla Tocchini and junior Elsie Fullerton each scored hat tricks for No. 19 UC Davis but the Aggies ultimately lost an 11-10 overtime thriller to No. 13 UC Santa Barbara in the Big West Conference women's water polo fifth-place game at Long Beach State's Campus Pool.

The Aggies end their season at 12-19.

Sophomore center Allyson Hansen added two goals while Keelia Houston and Paige Oreglia each chipped in one. Junior utility Lauren Martin scored three goals to lead the Gauchos, although it was a late flurry of activity by sophomore Bryn Hudson that gave UCSB its big push in extra frames. She sent a spin lob into the cage early in the overtime, then followed soon after by drawing a kickout and assisting Jessie Porter to put the board at 10-8.

UC Davis generally chased UC Santa Barbara throughout the contest. After a scoreless battle to start the game, UCSB took a 2-0 lead with less than a minute to play in the first on a power play and five-meter penalty. Tocchini put UC Davis on the board with a long bomb on the next possession. Senior Alex Rawlinson drew an offensive foul at mid-tank then assisted Hansen on the counterattack with 12 ticks left in the quarter.

UCSB's Carly Christian put the Gauchos back up midway through the second, but again UC Davis had a response: Fullerton delivered a long skip shot by goalkeeper Mackenzie Brokaw to equalize with two minutes left. The two teams locked up in a 3-3 tie at halftime.



The Aggies took their first lead in the third when Tocchini scored back-to-back goals within a minute's span. She fired in a backhanded shot at two meters, then barred in from the three spot at the 3:49 to make it 5-3. Nonetheless, the Gauchos rallied back: Brenna Thomas and Lauren Martin each delivered out of two meters to set the board at 5-5 heading into the fourth.

As she had at the conclusion of the third, Martin completed a power play from set a minute into the fourth, giving the Gauchos a 7-6 lead. The Aggies regained the lead for a second time, equalizing when Rawlinson's steal in transition resulted in a long outlet assist to Fullerton. Hansen assisted Houston for the go-ahead with 3:49 left in regulation. However, Samantha Murphy's long bomb from almost eight meters out tied the contest at 7-7.

The lefty Oreglia provided UC Davis with its third lead late in the fourth, only to have Martin erase it with her two-meter goal with only 16 seconds left in regulation, forcing the overtime.

Hudson's goal and assist gave the Gauchos the lead for good early in the OT. Fullerton and Houston each scored from outside to bring UC Davis back to within one, but UC Davis never had another chance to equalize. Aggie junoir Jillian Wilding posted a save against Martin in the final minute but UCSB retained possession and killed the clock.

Houston led all Aggies with four assists in the game. Rawlinson finished her last collegiate contest with three steals while fellow seniors Erin Schlueter and Katrina Husted each nabbed two. Another senior, center Hannah Curran, posted two drawn exclusions in her finale.

UC Santa Barbara and UC Davis entered the Big West tournament as the fifth and sixth seeds, respectively.

#19 UC Davis (12-19) 2 1 2 3 2 - 10
#13 UC Santa Barbara (12-15) 2 1 2 3 3 - 11

GOALS - UC Davis: Carla Tocchini 3, Elsie Fullerton 3, Allyson Hansen 2, Keelia Houston 1, Paige Oreglia 1. UCSB: Lauren Martin 3, Carly Christian 2, Jessie Porter 2, Miranda Schrader 1, Brenna Thomas 1, Samantha Murphy 1, Bryn Hudson 1,

GOALIE SAVES - UC Davis: Jillian Wilding 9 (32:00). UCSB: not available.