IRVINE, Calif. - A strong second half propelled the No. 13 University of California San Diego men’s water polo team over Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) opponent Concordia University Irvine, 17-11, Friday afternoon in Irvine.
UC San Diego improves to 2-3 overall and 1-0 in conference play. CUI falls to 3-2 on the season and 0-1 in the WWPA.
Freshman Connor Turnbow-Lindenstadt picked up his second career hat trick to go along with a career-high five goals in the win. Competing in his first game of the season, senior Arman Momdzhyan tallied four goals while junior Kevin Asplund and freshman Jack Ranj added two a piece.
In goal, junior Sam Thompson picked up 11 saves.
The Eagles’ Angel Rojas had four goals while goalkeeper Alfredo De La Mora made one save and scored a goal.
UCSD outscored CUI 10-5 in the second half to seal its first conference win.
The Eagles led 2-0 in the first quarter before the Tritons’ score four unanswered goals to take the lead. During the stretch, Ranj notched back-to-back goals while Turnbow-Lindenstadt added his first of the day.
CUI scored twice to open the second frame, including a long shot from goalie Alfredo De La Mora. The Eagles led, 6-5, with just over a minute left in the half, but UCSD put two shots into the net in the final minute to take a slim lead into halftime. Sophomore Calder Hilde-Jones scored on a powerplay at the buzzer.
In the third frame, the Eagles’ Messan Moore scored early to knot the game at seven but the Tritons tallied five goals to take over a lead they would not relinquish. UCSD controlled the fourth frame, adding five more to seal the win.
All four of Momdzhyans’ goals came in the second half, while Turnbow-Lindenstadt added three in the final 16 minutes.
UC San Diego returns to the pool tomorrow for two games. The Tritons play No. 11 UC Irvine at 11:30 a.m. and No. 8 Pepperdine at 3:30 p.m. Both contests will take place in Malibu.
UC San Diego 17, Concordia Irvine 11
UCSD 4 3 5 5 - 17
CUI 3 3 2 3 - 11
CUI: Angel Rojas 4, Joshua Mundell 3, Spencer Hosch 2, Messan Moore 1, Alfredo De La Mora 1.
UCSD: Sam Thompson 11
CUI: Alfredo De La Mora 1