IRVINE, Calif. – No. 10 UC San Diego surrendered a game-winning goal with 17 seconds remaining as No. 9 UC Irvine escaped the upset bid from the Tritons with a 11-10 victory at Anteater Aquatics Complex Saturday. David Higginson (San Diego/The Bishop's School) led UCSD in scoring for the second consecutive game with four goals on the day.
The loss marks the third consecutive defeat for the Tritons, who conclude the regular season at 12-13 overall. The trio of setbacks has come by a combined four goals, with two of the scores coming in the last 30 seconds. UC Irvine improves to 12-10 overall with the win.
The game featured six lead changes with the score tied after each of the first three quarters. With the match even at seven heading into the final period, UCI opened the fourth with two straight goals to match its biggest lead of the afternoon, 9-7.
Following suit of the match, however, the Tritons answered with a pair of scores to tie the game at nine. Higginson found the back of the net before Nick Alexander knotted up the score with 4:02 remaining. A minute later, the Anteaters countered with a goal to jump in front, 10-9, with 3:05 left.
UCSD wouldn’t go down without a fight and managed to push across the equalizer from Tommy Friedrich (Carlsbad/Carlsbad HS) with exactly one minute to go in regulation. After trading possessions, UC Irvine managed to push across the game winner with 17 seconds on the clock to win 11-10 from Kyle Trush.
The Anteaters were led by five goals from Mitch Wise and four scores from Trush. Alex Kazmier recorded eight blocks in the win for UCI.
UCSD received the four scores from Higginson, as well as three from Friedrich. Chase Cockerill, Andy Moore and Alexander tallied the final three scores with one apiece, respectively. Cameron Ravanbach (La Jolla/ La Jolla HS) amassed eight saves in the cage for the Tritons.
After completing regular season play, UCSD will compete in postseason play on Nov. 22-23 at the Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) Championships. The Tritons concluded conference play last week with a 4-1 record. The mark in WWPA play sets up UCSD to receive either a No. 1 or No. 2 seed at the conference tournament, depending on how UC Davis fares this coming week.
The Tritons will host two exhibition matches next week as a final tune-up for the WWPA Championships. UCSD will face Sunset San Diego and the San Francisco Olympic Club on Saturday, Nov. 16, starting at 10 a.m. The seeding and schedule for the tournament will be released next week.
UCSD 4 2 1 3 - 10
UCI 4 4 1 4 - 11
UCSD: Cameron Ravanbach 8
UCI: Alex Kazmier 8, Bo de Lange 1