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HomeSportsUCI Women’s Water Polo Defeats LMU in UCSD Triton Invitational, 12-5

UCI Women’s Water Polo Defeats LMU in UCSD Triton Invitational, 12-5

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The UCI Women’s Water Polo team defeated the Loyola Marymount University Lions in a decisive 12-5 win at the UC San Diego Triton Invitational on Feb. 3. 

The first period began relatively calmly, with good defense from both squads keeping the other at bay. The Lions struck with the first goal, only to be met with one from UCI redshirt sophomore utility Brooke Banta to tie at one apiece.

This neck and neck battle continued throughout the period. LMU scored at the 1:53 mark, which UCI senior utility Mica Schiavone answered by making a goal for her team. Towards the latter half of the first period, sophomore attacker Gracie Helberg scored a goal for UCI to edge LMU out and end the period with the advantage.

The second period of the game also began quietly, with both teams continuing the back and forth of who could score first. It wasn’t until just over five minutes that UCI junior defender Michaela Strickland scored a goal to grant the Anteaters a two-point edge over the Lions. However, the Lions kept the period close with a goal of their own just a minute later to keep the game within distance at 4-3.

Both teams only scored one goal each in the second period, ending the first half on a somber note offensively.

The second half of the game kicked off with a bang. UCI sophomore attacker Kennedy East and Helberg pushed the lead to 6-3. LMU grad student attacker Marialena Seletopoulou sent the next goal into the UCI net, gradually closing the gap. However, Helberg and sophomore utility Libby Alexander extended the lead for the Anteaters by two points. With 40 seconds left on the clock, LMU was able to creep one more goal into UCI territory before ending the quarter, 8-5. 

The fourth and final period of the invitational game began steadily, both teams once again going back and forth in a stalemate. That is, until the 6:04 mark with UCI freshman center Olivia Giolas scoring a goal for the Eaters to extend their lead further to 9-5.

Notably, LMU didn’t score a single goal for the rest of the match.

Towards the middle of the final period, UCI redshirt sophomore attacker Elena Flynn and graduate student attacker Jessica Lynch capitalized on two exclusions from LMU to score two goals, inflating the lead.

After another back and forth between the two water polo squads, UCI sophomore center Nioka Thomas ended the game with one more goal to cap it at a strong 12-5. 

UC Irvine then went on to face Long Beach State in the Triton Invitational, defeating them in a close 8-7 victory on Feb. 4. 


Phillip Lemus is a Sports Staff Writer for the winter 2023 quarter. They can be reached at plemus1@uci.edu