UC San Diego Advances to NCAA Final Four With 12-7 Win Against Brown
LA JOLLA, Calif. - After completing a hat trick early Saturday night at Canyonview Aquatic Center, Josh Stiling went on to tally six total goals as No. 6 UC San Diego defeated ninth-ranked Brown, 12-7, to earn a berth into the final four of the National Collegiate Men’s Water Polo Championship.
UCSD, host of the 2014 national championship, will play top-seeded UCLA on Dec. 6 at 1 p.m. at Canyonview. In the other semifinal, second-seeded Stanford faces third-seeded USC at 3:10 p.m. For ticket information, click here.
UCSD's (16-9) night at Canyonview Aquatic Center was highlighted by a third quarter that featured Stiling netting three goals and the Tritons holding Brown (27-7) scoreless.
Stiling started his explosive night with a shot over the head of Brown's goalie in the first minute of the game. After failing to convert on a man-up play, the Tritons grabbed the rebound and senior Lukas Syka put them up 2-0.
The Bears cut the deficit to one, but David Higginson scored from center on a pass from Stiling. Matt Michalko then netted UCSD's final goal of the first quarter on an assist from Syka. However, Brown scored back-to-back goals to make the score 4-3 in favor of UC San Diego at the close of the opening stanza.
After Andy Moore won the draw for the Tritons, Syka scored his second of the night on the first possession of the second quarter.
Still, Brown edged its way back. The Bears used two unanswered goals to tie the game up at five apiece. Stiling then completed the hat trick by scoring two straight goals and the Tritons held a slim 7-6 lead at the half.
The second half started similar to how the first half ended with Stilling scoring two straight goals. The Tritons pulled ahead even further as Chase Cockerill scored to put UCSD up 10-6. Stiling finished off his night by netting his final goal on a skip shot. The Tritons had a sizable 11-6 lead after stifling the Brown offense in the third quarter.
The fourth quarter was quiet on both ends of the pool until Michalko scored with 4:13 left in the game. Senior goalie Cameron Ravanbach nearly shut the Bears out for the entire second half, but Brown scored with 10 seconds left in the game.
Ravanbach finished the night with 11 stops.
UCSD 4 3 4 1 - 12
BU 3 3 0 1 - 7
UCSD: Cameron Ravanbach 11
BU: Luke Weiser