LA JOLLA, Calif. - A strong second half catapulted the 12th-ranked and second-seeded University of California San Diego men’s water team over seventh-seeded Santa Clara by a score of 16-9 in the first round of the Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) Championship Friday at Canyonview Aquatic Center.
With the win, UCSD improves its overall record to 10-13. The Tritons will take on California Baptist, the tourney's third seed, in a semifinal Saturday at 5:45 p.m.
The Tritons used seven goals in the third frame to pull away, outscoring SCU 9-4 in the second half to seal their first win of the weekend.
UCSD jumped out to a quick start, taking a 3-0 lead with goals from Munatones, senior Arman Momdzhyan and junior Carson Ivancovich. Patrick Kirk put the Broncos on the board with 1:34 left in the first quarter.
The Tritons scored two-straight to open the second frame before SCU answered with a goal from Luca Pagano. A brutality call against Momdzhyan gave the Broncos a dead ball penalty shot followed by a 6-on-5 situation. SCU capitalized on both opportunities and made it a 7-5 game at the half. Momdzhyan will serve a two-game suspension as the result of the call.
With Momdzhyan out of the game, the UCSD defense stepped up, holding the Broncos to four goals in the second half. Turnbow-Lindenstadt completed his hat trick in the third quarter, scoring back-to-back goals followed by junior Alessandro Valania adding two-straight to give the Tritons a 14-8 lead after the third frame.
Milton and sophomore Kacper Langiewicz each tallied a goal in the fourth frame to give UCSD a seven-goal victory.
Kirk led the Broncos in scoring with three goals while goalkeeper Emil Huebner made two saves.
The Broncos dropped to 7-16 with the loss.
In Friday's first quarterfinal, top seed UC Davis earned a convincing 22-7 victory over eighth-seeded Fresno Pacific. California Baptist cruised to a 15-9 win over sixth-seeded Loyola Marymount. In the night cap, No. 5 Air Force topped fourth-seeded Concordia Irvine by a score of 15-10.
Saturday, November 18
Game 5: No. 6 Loyola Marymount vs. No. 7 Santa Clara - 11:00 a.m.
Game 6: No. 4 Concordia Irvine vs. No. 8 Fresno Pacific - 12:45 p.m
Game 7 (semifinal): No. 1 UC Davis vs. No. 5 Air Force - 4:00 p.m.
Game 8 (semifinal): No. 2 UC San Diego vs. No. 3 California Baptist - 5:45 p.m.
UC San Diego 16, Santa Clara 9
UC San Diego 3 4 7 2 - 16
Santa Clara 1 4 3 1 - 9
SCU: Patrick Kirk 3, Scott Zurnacian 2, Luca Pagano, Reilley May, John Raineri, Shane Hughes.
UCSD: Sam Thompson 8
SCU: Emil Huebner 2