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Water Polo Falls to California to Close Out NorCal Road Trip

by Staff

BERKELEY, Calif. — The second-ranked University of Hawai’i water polo team’s fourth-quarter comeback fell just short and the Rainbow Wahine closed a Northern California road trip with a 9-8 loss to No. 4 California on Sunday at the Spieker Aquatics Complex in Berkeley, Calif.

Freshman Agatha Weston led the Rainbow Wahine with three goals on the day, all coming in the second quarter. Bernadette Doyle scored two goals in the fourth quarter as UH cut a four-goal deficit to one with 1:47 left. UH had the final possession but a final shot was knocked away by Cal goalie Isabel Williams and the Golden Bears hung on for the win. 

UH split the road trip and fell to 12-3 on the season before returning to Manoa to begin a four-game homestand.

The Bears got off to a swift start in scoring four goals in the first 3:30 of action. California capitalized on two power-play opportunities during that scoring stretch. The Bears added another goal by converting a penalty shot late in the quarter, and had a 5-0 lead through one quarter.

Regardless of the slow start, Weston got the ‘Bows into a rhythm offensively. Weston ended California’s scoring run with a goal at the 7:11 mark of the second quarter followed by a goal by senior Lucia Gomez de la Puente. The Bears netted another goal shortly after, but Weston would continue to exploit California’s defense knocking in two more goals on power-play opportunities earning a hat trick on the day. A dominant quarter by Weston allowed UH to chip at California’s lead and close to 6-4 at halftime.

California scored two goals to begin the third quarter and UH responded with a goal from senior Lot Stertefeld at the 1:25 mark and the ‘Bows faced a three-goal deficit heading into the fourth quarter.

The Rainbow Wahine found themselves in a deeper hole after giving up a goal to begin the fourth period. The ‘Bows began a scoring run with a long-range goal delivered by Doyle. Doyle would punch in another goal shortly after to cut the deficit down to just two. UH was quickly gaining momentum and at the 1:17 mark sophomore Bia Mantellato Dias netted a goal and the ‘Bows were down by just one. The Rainbow Wahine held the final possession of the game, but came up just short as the ball found the back of the net after time expired.

UH freshman goalie Daisy Logtens finished with 10 saves. Williams posted nine for Cal, which lost to UH 10-7 in the semifinals of the Barbara Kalbus Invitational on Feb. 24 in Irvine, Calif.

The Rainbow Wahine return to the Duke Kahanamoku Aquatics Complex and begin a four-game home stretch on Saturday, March 16 taking on USC at 6:00 p.m. HT. The ‘Bows defeated USC on Feb. 4 in the Triton Invitational which was one of two wins against a No. 1-ranked opponent this season for the Rainbow Wahine.

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