LA JOLLA, Calif. - An up and down tournament for the No. 11 UC San Diego men's water polo team ended with a positive finish, as the Tritons cruised to a 16-3 victory over La Verne in the final game of the two-day Triton Invitational. UCSD concluded the weekend with a 2-2 record.
"This team has a lot of talent but a lot of room to improve," Tritons' head coach Denny Harper said. "We lost to two very good teams this weekend in Pacific and LMU. We have a good core of returners and we now know what they have to do. It'll be great for the players to get back to work in the pool."
The Tritons finished the Sunday afternoon match against the Leopards on a 13-1 run. Ryan Allred, a UCSD senior from La Verne, Calif., recorded three goals against his hometown university and totaled a team-high eight scores in this weekend's tournament.
Dan Biag, Josh Stiling and Dane Sequeira added two goals apiece in the win over the Leopards. William Brown put together a solid effort on offense this weekend at Canyonview, as the left-hander totaled seven scores through the four contests.
In the morning game Sunday facing a balanced attack from No. 10 Pacific, the Tritons suffered a 12-5 loss. The Tritons cut the Tigers' lead to 8-5 at the 3:09 mark in the third quarter with a score from Allred, but Pacific followed that with four unanswered goals to close out the match at 12-5.
Just 56 seconds into regulation, Brown put UCSD on the board. The Tritons held the 1-0 lead for three minutes, until Pacific's Lance Morrison converted a five-meter penalty shot to tie the match. The two squads traded scores to make the score 2-2, before the Tigers rattled off three-straight goals to take a 5-2 lead.
Pacific dominated the second-quarter action, outscoring the Tritons 4-1 through those eight minutes with four different Tigers scoring. After regrouping at the midway point, UCSD rallied to start the third quarter with scores from Brian Donohoe and Allred as the lead dropped to 8-5 in favor of Pacific. The Tigers took over from that point on, reaching the 12-5 final after holding the Tritons scoreless through the final 11 minutes of play.
UCSD will return to action on Friday, traveling to play Cal Lutheran at 4 p.m. On Saturday, the Tritons will challenge No. 7 UC Santa Barbara.