LA JOLLA, Calif. —The No. 12-ranked University of California San Diego men’s water polo team put forth two thrilling performances on the opening day of the 2018 Triton Invitational on Saturday, even if the final scores show mixed results.
UC San Diego won big over La Verne, 25-8, to start the day, before falling short in an epic battle against No. 9 UC Irvine, 12-11, in a sudden-victory overtime period.
Game 2 (UC Irvine 12, UC San Diego 11 2OT)
The Tritons came up short in their second contest of the day, but proved they have plenty to be excited about this season. Sophomore Connor Turnbow-Lindenstadt led the way with four goals in the loss, and redshirt junior goalkeeper Jack Turner was spectacular in the net with a career-high 20 saves.
After falling behind early in the first quarter, 4-1, the Tritons rallied to tie the score 6-6 early in the third quarter after Turnbow-Lindenstadt’s second goal of the game.
UC San Diego took its first lead, 9-8, on a score from senior Kevin Asplund off a Munatones’ assist with 7:20 left in regulation. After consecutive Anteater goals put UC Irvine back on top by one, Carniglia’s pass to Turnbow-Lindenstadt for a power-play goal with 1:16 left in regulation sent the game to overtime.
The Tritons struck first in the first overtime period on Munatones’ unassisted score, but UC Irvine responded with a power-play goal with just six seconds to go in the first overtime period.
After a scoreless second overtime period, UC Irvine’s Casey Lynton’s goal won it for the Anteaters just 29 seconds into the sudden-victory period.
Game 1 (UC San Diego 25, La Verne 8)
Four Tritons recorded three goals apiece in the season-opening victory over La Verne, including sophomore Calder Hilde-Jones, senior Ryan Rodriguez, Munatones and Turnbow-Lindenstadt. Sophomore Brett Candioty added three assists and Turnbow-Lindenstadt tallied three steals, as UC San Diego jumped out to a 9-0 first-quarter advantage and led 15-4 at halftime.
The Tritons return to action on Sunday at 9:15 a.m. against No. T-20 Air Force.