LA JOLLA, Calif. - The UC San Diego men's water polo team dropped a late 11-8 decision to closely-matched Long Beach State Friday evening at Canyonview Pool.
"It got away from us," said Head Coach Denny Harper. "I thought we played really well though. Long Beach is a good team with a lot of weapons."
With LBSU ranked 10th and UCSD ranked 11th nationally, the teams came into the match expecting a tight battle and that's exactly what they got.
"For three quarters, we were executing the game plan to a tee," said Harper. "We knew it would be a close ball game, but clearly the fourth got away from us. A few calls here and there could have gone either way but overall, in particular without Josh Stiling playing tonight, I thought the guys rallied really well."
UCSD's three-goal second quarter sent the Tritons into halftime with a 4-3 lead. They posted their largest lead of the game at 6-4 exactly one minute into the third with a goal from Luke Syka, his first of two in the quarter. The 49ers evened up the score twice, but the Tritons did not give up easily as they held an 8-7 lead going into the final stanza.
"Luke played a great game," said Harper. "I'd been on him to shoot the ball a bit more and I think he played well."
In the fourth, LBSU evened the game with a goal from Nolan McConnell. The 49ers did not look back from that point on as they found the net three more times while keeping the Tritons scoreless.
Triton goalie Cameron Ravanbach finished with 15 saves.
"I thought Cameron absolutely stepped up," said Harper. "When you get any goalie making 15-plus saves a game, it's pretty fantastic."
Statistically, UCSD earned more ejections drawn, but each team finished with only one player majored from the game.
UCSD's record now sits at 7-6 overall. Long Beach State boasts a 17-3 mark.
The Tritons return to Canyonview on Thursday, Oct. 18 as they host Western Water Polo Association opponent Air Force. The game is set to start at 6:00 p.m.
UCSD 1 - 3 - 4 - 0 = 8
LBSU 2 - 1 - 4 - 4 = 11
UCSD GOALS: Syka 4, Donohoe 2, Dietrich, Butler.
LBSU GOALS: McConnell 3, Vrzic 3, Lappas 2, White, Mefford, Rascon
UCSD SAVES: Ravanbach 14
LBSU SAVES: Meszaros 6
-- UCSDtritons.com --