IRVINE, Calif. — The No. 12-ranked University of California San Diego men’s water polo team won two contests against top-10 opponents on Saturday, continuing its strong start to the 2018 season.
The Tritons defeated No. 10 UC Irvine to begin the day, 9-4, before knocking off No. 8 Pepperdine, 14-11, in the GCC vs. WWPA Challenge Cup at UC Irvine’s Anteater Aquatics Complex.
UC San Diego (5-1) has already won four games against ranked opponents this season. Sophomore Connor Turnbow-Lindenstadt recorded a total of eight goals and four assists on the day, while redshirt junior goalkeeper Sam Thompson tallied 23 saves.
UC Irvine is now 3-3 this season, while Pepperdine is 4-2.
Revenge is a dish best served — wet.
The Tritons dominated the second and third quarters of action on Saturday morning to claim a victory over No. 10 UC Irvine, 9-4, and avenge a sudden-victory overtime loss at home last weekend.
Turnbow-Lindenstadt led UC San Diego with three goals, two assists and two steals, while senior captain Cole Martinez added two goals and Thompson finished with 13 saves in the net.
With the score tied 1-1 after one quarter, the Tritons outscored the Anteaters 3-1 in the second period behind goals from Martinez, Turnbow-Lindenstadt and junior Noah Carniglia. UC San Diego outscored UC Irvine 4-1 in the third, as senior Alessandro Valania’s goal with 1:50 left in the period made it 8-3 after three quarters of action.
UC San Diego kept its momentum going Saturday evening, erupting for seven goals in the first period alone en route to a win against No. 8 Pepperdine, 14-11.
Turnbow-Lindenstadt matched a season high with five goals along and two assists, Carniglia added three goals, two assists and a steal, while Thompson recorded 10 saves with three steals.
Carniglia opened the game with consecutive goals and Turnbow-Lindenstadt scored three times in the first quarter. Junior Cooper Milton and redshirt sophomore Calder Hilde-Jones also scored in the opening period as the Tritons built a 7-3 advantage.
UC San Diego took a commanding 10-3 lead into halftime after scores from Milton, Carniglia and sophomore Michael Gelnak. Junior Skyler Munatones’ goal to open the second half made it 11-3 with 6:39 left in the third quarter.
Up next, the Tritons get set for road games this week at Cal Lutheran on Wednesday, Sept. 12, before taking on UC Santa Barbara on Thursday, Sept. 13.