LA JOLLA, Calif. — Home sweet home.
The No. 11 University of California San Diego men’s water polo team overcame an early fourth-quarter deficit to win an exciting home game over No. 7 Long Beach State, 7-5, Wednesday evening at Canyonview Aquatic Center.
After playing its previous four games on the road, the Tritons were back in front of their home fans on Wednesday — and it made a difference.
UC San Diego (7-2) scored the final three goals of the game, with sophomore Connor Turnbow-Lindenstadt scoring twice in the fourth quarter and senior Alessandro Valania sealing the victory with his goal off fellow senior Cole Martinez’s assist with 1:46 left to play.
Turnbow-Lindenstadt’s penalty-shot goal tied the game, 5-5, with 5:25 remaining, before senior Kevin Asplund assisted on the sophomore’s second goal with 2:42 left. Asplund also scored UC San Diego’s first goal of the game just 11 seconds into the first period.
“I just found a way to break through,” said Turnbow-Lindenstadt. “My teammates set me up nicely.”
Redshirt junior goalkeeper Jack Turner finished with 14 saves, three steals and an assist, while Martinez had two assists.
In addition, juniors Cooper Milton, Skyler Munatones and redshirt sophomore Jack Ranj scored one goal apiece for the Tritons. Long Beach State (6-3) was led by Austin Stewart, who finished with a goal, two assists and three steals.
UC San Diego entered the fourth quarter trailing 5-4, after consecutive goals by Long Beach State’s Johnathan Wong and Troy Kaltenbach. The Tritons led 2-1 at the end of the first period and the score was tied at halftime, 3-3.
UC San Diego returns to action on Saturday, Sept. 22, as the Tritons open Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) play at home against Fresno Pacific beginning at 12 p.m.
Saturday’s game will begin a stretch of four-straight conference games for the Tritons, three of which will be played at Canyonview Aquatic Center.
“(Wednesday) was a physical game that had a lot of everything,” said UC San Diego head coach Denny Harper. “I’m super stoked we came out on top.
“It’s a great signature win, but if we stumble these next four conference games, it won’t mean anything.”
About UC San Diego Athletics
With 30 national team championships, nearly 150 individual titles and the top student-athlete graduation rate among Division II institutions in the United States, the UC San Diego intercollegiate athletics program annually ranks as one of the most successful in the country. The Tritons sponsor 23 intercollegiate sport programs that compete on the NCAA Division I and II levels and, in summer 2020, will transition into full Division I status as a member of the Big West Conference. UC San Diego student-athletes exemplify the academic ideals of one of the world's preeminent institutions, graduating at an average rate of 91 percent. A total of 80 Tritons have earned Academic All-America honors, while 36 have earned prestigious NCAA Post Graduate Scholarships. In competition, more than 1,300 UC San Diego student-athletes have earned All-America honors.
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