LA JOLLA, Calif. -
The twelfth-ranked UC San Diego men's water polo team fell in a tight match-up with fifth-ranked UC Irvine, 8-7, on Friday night at Canyonview Pool.
The loss drops the Tritons back to .500 at 11-11 on the season. The Anteaters improve to 16-5 in 2010.
Bryce Madsen and Graham Saber scored in the opening frame for UCSD, as the teams battled to a 2-2 draw after the first period.
The Anteaters scored quickly off of the sprint and UCI's Tom Kruip followed with another goal, giving the Anteaters the first two-goal lead of the match with 3:08 left in the half. Less than a minute later, Jakub Bednarek would answer with a goal from four meters out to bring UCSD back within one, 4-3.
The Tritons would intercept the next Anteater possession, turning the play into a UCSD fast break. However, Bednarek would be called for an offensive foul, giving the ball right back to UCI. The Anteaters quickly put the ball back into play as Winston Newland got in behind an off-guard Triton defense, firing off a shot near-post to put UCI in front 5-3.
The episode clearly was not to the approval of UCSD coach Denny Harper, who earned a red card after sharing his thoughts on the play with the officiating crew.
Doug Lindsay opened the scoring for UCI less than 1:30 into the second half, finding the net from the perimeter of the offense. Saber scored again for UCSD and John Butler netted another goal with five seconds left in the quarter, making it 6-5 UCI.
Kyle Kruip scored for the Anteaters with a backhanded strike after the visitors won the final sprint, giving UCI a two-goal lead with 7:30 left to play. After a pair of turnovers from each team, UCI goalkeeper Matt Johnson collected the ball after a missed shot. Johnson attempted a nonchalant pass to his right side; however, UCSD's Kevin Driscoll intercepted the pass, flicking it to Ryan Allred who finished in front of a wide-open net.
Matt Kerchner would have an opportunity to tie the match for UCSD on a fast break, but Johnson won the one-on-one, getting a hand to Kerchner's shot attempt to push the ball out of play. UCI scored on a six-on-five advantage with 3:57 left, only to be matched by another goal from Madsen less than a minute later.
UCI gave UCSD a last chance to tie the match after the Anteaters turned the ball over with ten seconds remaining. Triton goalkeeper David Morton attempted a full-court pass to Brian Donohoe to put UCSD in position, but the ball sailed a little too far, floating to the corner as time expired.
Morton registered 13 saves on the evening while Butler dished out three assists.
UCSD jumps back into the pool on Sunday, as the Tritons host No. 19 Pomona-Pitzer at noon in Canyonview Pool. Seniors Jakub Bednarek, Ryan Allred, and Madsen will be honored for their years of service to UCSD water polo prior to the match.