Daily 49er

Long Beach State women’s water polo falls in regular season finale

LBSU will now prepare for Big West Tournament.

Freshman goalie Erin Patras made 16 saves during the lost against UCI 6-3.

Freshman goalie Erin Patras made 16 saves during the lost against UCI 6-3.

Priscilla Aguilera

Priscilla Aguilera

Freshman goalie Erin Patras made 16 saves during the lost against UCI 6-3.

Alex Ormeno-Manfredi, Staff Writer

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It was a hard fought battle between No. 12 Long Beach State and No. 6 UC Irvine women’s water polo teams Thursday night at the Ken Lindgren Aquatics Center. In their final home game of the season against the conference rival Anteaters, The Beach fell by a score of 6-3.

LBSU struggled to get going against a stifling defensive performance by UCI.

LBSU could not get any momentum going in the first half, scoring no goals on 12 shots and trailing by a score of 4-0. UCI started off the game in attack mode, scoring once in the first quarter and three in the second quarter heading into halftime.

Beach head coach Gavin Arroyo was not pleased with the officiating throughout the game and first half especially.

“I’m not going to blame the referees but officiating can create momentum and you have to get stops when they create momentum for the other team and you have to capitalize when you get your chances,” Arroyo said. “I felt they had the momentum early, they capitalized and we didn’t.”

LBSU came out of the half with much more energy and inspiration. Junior utility Raney Remme scored the first goal for The Beach and Junior defender Alexandra Massier carried the rest of the way with the last two goals.

Senior defender Christina Kotsia and freshman goalie Eirini Patras had solid performances bringing some much needed energy in the second half. Patras had one of her best games of her young career with 16 saves on the night. Two of her saves came on penalty shots in crucial parts of the game.

After the game Arroyo had some words about his freshman goalie from Greece.

“She’s the real deal. I think she’s blocked more penalties than penalties scored against her on the year and that’s unheard of,” Arroyo said.

It was also Senior night, an emotional goodbye in the last home game for the five players who are graduating. “It’s been five years with many ups and downs, some very emotional years and I have grown extremely here as a person,” Christina Kotsia said. “It’s a very bitter feeling knowing I just finished my last game in this pool. [Coach] Gavin is like family to me.”

Long Beach State heads into next Friday’s Big West Tournament as the No. 3 seed and UC Irvine locked up the No. 1 seed with their win tonight.

“Our conference has gotten really strong, I think everybody is in the top 15 so it’s going to be tight,” Arroyo said.

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