Pacific Upsets No. 5 UCSB
Stockton, Calif. - Senior Tom Koning netted the game-winning goal with 4:31 left in the fourth quarter as the No. 8 Pacific men's water polo team upset No. 5 UC Santa Barbara 9-8 Sunday, November 5, in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation match at UCSB's Campus Pool.
The Tigers improve to 11-9 on the year and 1-4 in league play with the win. The loss drops UC Santa Barbara to 14-9 and 2-4 in MPSF matches.
Pacific went on top early as senior Todd Hazen finished a power play to put the Tigers up 1-0. The hosts tied the match with a goal of their own before Pacific reeled off three straight scores, gaining a 4-1 advantage with 2:19 left in the period. Junior Balazs Szabo, senior Joey Doyle, and sophomore Balazs Erdelyi netted for the Tigers during the run.
The Gauchos were undeterred by the Tigers' hot start, however, as they finished the first quarter with two goals to trim Pacific's lead to one. UCSB added a trio of unanswered scores in the second frame to take a 6-4 lead into intermission.
A sixth consecutive goal at the 3:44 mark of the third quarter gave UC Santa Barbara a 7-4 lead but Koning was able to find the back of the cage one minute later to stop the hosts' run. With 25 seconds left in the period, Pacific managed to draw a penalty that Erdelyi subsequently put past the Gaucho's keeper to cut UCSB's lead to one. The hosts responded by drawing a penalty of their own with seven seconds remaining in the quarter. After putting away the penalty shot, the Gauchos would go back up by two with one quarter left to play.
Erdelyi notched a hat trick behind a goal at the 7:18 mark of the fourth quarter to bring Pacific back to within one. The Tigers were then able to gain an advantage on their next possession that allowed junior Goran Tomasevic to convert the power-play goal, knotting the game at 8-8 in the process. Pacific completed its comeback a little more than a minute later as Koning netted what would be the game-winning goal with 4:31 left to play.
The Gauchos had their chances down the stretch, drawing four ejections but came up empty each time. Sophomore goalkeeper Alex Malkis recorded three of his six saves in the final frame, helping the Tigers hold UCSB scoreless in the final quarter.
"Our team showed great composure and determination today," Pacific head coach James Graham said. "We're very excited to get this win and hope to use it as a stepping stone as we prepare for this coming week."
UC Santa Barbara was led by three goals from junior Brian Shoemaker. Junior goalkeeper Myles Christian tallied 10 saves in the cage.
Pacific will play its fourth straight road game Friday, November 11, when it squares off against No. 3 California at 5 p.m.
|1st Q||2nd Q||3rd Q||4th Q||FINAL|
Pacific - Erdelyi 3, Koning 2, Doyle, Hazen, Szabo, Tomasevic
UC Santa Barbara - B. Shoemaker 3, Gillespie 2, D. Shoemaker, Gaughan, J. Miller
Pacific - Malkis 6
UC Santa Barbara - Christian 10