UC Irvine Claims Big West Title with Black & Blue Win

UC Irvine Claims Big West Title with Black & Blue Win


LONG BEACH, Calif. --- Cambria Shockley scored two goals and UC Irvine's defense was stellar with nine steals as the Anteaters defeated Long Beach State, 6-3, to win the Big West Conference regular-season title at Lindgren Aquatics Center in Long Beach Thursday night.

With the victory, UCI (20-6, 5-0) earns the program's seventh regular-season league title in the nine years that the Big West has sponsored the sport. It is the fourth time that the Anteaters have gone undefeated in conference play as UCI is now 40-7 all-time in Big West games.

The victory also extended the Anteaters' school-record winning streak to 11.

The sixth-ranked Anteaters opened the scoring in the Black & Blue Rivalry win as McKenna Mitchell scored with 3:55 left in the first quarter off a feed from Gabby Pierandozzi.

UCI added three unanswered goals in the second period as Shockley converted on a power play with 7:26 remaining with another assist from Pierandozzi.

Pierandozzi tallied a goal of her own at the 5:59 mark and Kelsey Thornton scored on a 6-on-5 advantage with 51 seconds left to give UCI a 4-0 lead at halftime.

Raney Remme put the 12th-ranked 49ers (16-11, 3-2) on the board with a power-play goal with 5:10 remaining in the third quarter for the only scoring in that frame.

Mary Brooks answered on a power play with 7:26 left in the fourth quarter to boost UCI's lead to 5-1.

Alexandra Massier scored 16 seconds later to pull LBSU within 5-2, but Shockley countered with her second goal of the game at the 1:38 mark to extend the Anteaters' lead to 6-2 before Massier closed out the scoring with 19 seconds remaining.

Annika Nelson registered nine saves in goal and a pair of steals for UCI.

The Anteaters close out the regular season Friday night, hosting Loyola Marymount in a non-conference game at 7:00. UCI's seven seniors will be recognized following the contest.

UCI will be the No. 1 seed for the Big West Tournament that runs April 28-30 at Schaal Aquatics Center in Davis. The Anteaters will have a bye the first day and will meet the winner of the Nos. 4 and 5 seeds in a semifinal April 29 at 1:00 p.m.

UC Irvine                    1 – 3 – 0 – 2 --- 6
Long Beach State      0 – 0 – 1 – 2 --- 3

UCI: Shockley 2, Mitchell, Pierandozzi, Thornton, Brooks.

LBSU: Massier 2, Remme.

Saves:  Nelson (UCI) 9; Patras (LBSU) 16.

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