Santa Barbara City's win gives Vaqueros chance for first state title

Santa Barbara City's win gives Vaqueros chance for first state title

Tournament Headquarters

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - Halie Johnson and Emma Fraser each scored four goals on Friday and Santa Barbara City College never trailed against San Joaquin Delta College during an 11-7 semifinal victory during the 2017 California Community College Athletic Association Women's Water Polo Championship at Cuesta College.

The Vaqueros' (30-3) win sets up Saturday's title game against Sierra (25-5) which beat defending champion Riverside City, 6-5, earlier in the day. Neither Santa Barbara nor Sierra has won a state championship in women's water polo.

Sierra is the first north representative in the championship game since American River in 2004 and is seeking to become the first team from Northern California to capture a state title.

Santa Barbara laid claim to its spot in the championship by easing away from Delta with a strong second quarter that saw the Vaqueros take a 3-2 lead after the first into a 7-3 lead at halftime. Fraser was a big reason why they were able to gain separation, scoring with 6:25 remaining in the half, adding a penalty shot goal two minutes later and then capping the quarter with a score with just 12 seconds left. 

Jessica Diaz scored early in the third quarter to bring the Mustangs within 7-4 but Fraser Sarah Parson scored the next two for Santa Barbara to make it 9-4 going to the fourth. The final score was the closest Delta would come after that.

Kemi Dijkstra and Meagan Mckillican also added goals for the Vaqueros whle Nicole Poulos had four goalie saves before giving way to Melisa Walk, who had two, in the fourth.

Diaz led Delta with three goals, Maddie Wittkowske added two and Kate Allan and Taylor Kleinert each had one. Tahlia Pou had four saves for Delta which will play Riverside (25-5) for third place on Saturday at 10:45 a.m.