LA JOLLA, Calif. - The 9th-ranked UC San Diego men's water polo team dropped a narrow 6-5 decision at home Friday night to 8th-ranked Long Beach State in front of 1,136 fans.
The Tritons fall to 9-7 overall on the season while the
49ers improve to 7-6. The result snaps UCSD's three-match winning streak.
In the first quarter, LBSU jumped out to a 1-0 lead with just under two minutes played. Senior Patrick van der Linde hit the upper left corner of the net with a shot past UCSD goalkeeper David Morton. The Tritons rallied back to tie the match when Ryan Allred, who had already hit the crossbar earlier in the quarter, fired a shot past 49ers' netminder Matt Kubeck with about two minutes remaining in the period. As Allred let go of the ball, the LBSU defense was scrambling back into formation after going back to full strength following an ejection.
The second quarter progressed similarly to the first, with the 49ers taking a 2-1 advantage on a hard shot from van der Linde that Morton stopped on the line before the ball trickled across for the score. UCSD sophomore Brian Donohoe struck for his first goal of the match roughly five minutes into the second period, tossing in a long shot from the top of the formation during a power play to even the score at 2-2. Less than 19 seconds after Donohoe's goal, the visiting LBSU squad took the lead again when Carter Taylor fired in a shot from the right side up close.
With the 49ers holding the 3-2 lead at intermission, the two squads traded scores again in the third period. Taylor struck again early in the quarter but John Butler found the back of the net for the Tritons to push it back to a one-goal game. LBSU came out firing in the fourth, with Alexsandr Petrovic and Nick Rascon registering scores in the first minute of the period to help the 49ers take a 6-3 lead.
The Tritons weren't done just yet though, as Kevin Driscoll tallied a score with 3:51 to play and Donohoe capitalized on a fast break off a LBSU turnover with 1:29 left in regulation. Down 6-5, UCSD ended up getting the ball back with 45 seconds to go but an offensive turnover delivered the ball back to the 49ers as the clock ticked down to zero. Morton ended the match with nine saves, while Kubeck picked up 13 stops.
The Tritons will return to action next weekend when they travel to play No. 11 UC Davis and No. 12 Santa Clara. The next home match for UCSD will be on Oct. 23 at 2 p.m. against Loyola Marymount.