Gauchos Defeat Pepperdine, Take Seventh at MPSF Tournament

Gauchos Defeat Pepperdine, Take Seventh at MPSF Tournament

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Staked to a 4-0 lead after the first quarter, No. 5-seed UC Santa Barbara held on for a 10-8 victory against No. 6-seed Pepperdine in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament's seventh-place match Sunday morning at UCLA's Spieker Aquatics Center.

UCSB (16-12) received goals from eight players, including two from Matt Gronow and Matt Johnson. Pepperdine (12-14) was paced by Spence Hamby's team-leading three goals.

Playing under sunny skies in 80-degree weather, UCSB surged ahead, 4-0, after the first quarter before Pepperdine began to chip away at the deficit. The Waves got on the board 58 seconds into the second period on a goal from Danny White. UCSB led, 5-1, after Gronow's first goal. Pepperdine trailed, 6-3, at the end of the first half.

The Waves outscored UCSB, 4-2, in the third quarter and trailed 8-7 entering the final frame. In the third period, Hamby scored consecutive goals for Pepperdine (at 6:21 and 4:55), reducing UCSB's advantage to 6-5. Bryce Miller converted for UCSB on a 6-on-5 opportunity with 4:25 left in the quarter, putting the Gauchos on top, 7-5.

Pepperdine trailed 7-6 after a goal from Matt Brown with 3:54 remaining in the third period. UCSB regained its two-goal cushion (8-6) on Matt Johnson's second goal of the day. The Waves scored the final goal of the third quarter with 1:26 remaining.

UCSB pushed its lead to three goals (10-7) in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter. Teddy Zhang scored with 6:40 to play and Lazar Komadinic found the back of the cage at the 5:47 mark.

Pepperdine closed the gap to 10-8 on a power-play goal from Stephen Loomis with 5:30 remaining in regulation.

Neither team scored in the final five minutes and 30 seconds. With the Waves trailing, 10-8, goalkeeper Bence Valics made a crucial save with 1:04 to play in the final quarter, giving the Waves an opportunity to quickly close a two-goal gap. A skip shot from Andrew Milcovich with 50 seconds left sailed wide of the cage and UCSB controlled the ball for the next 30 seconds.

Pepperdine's final shot attempt from Spencer Hamby was blocked by UCSB goalkeeper Myles Christian. He finished the game with 11 saves. 

UC Santa Barbara 10, Pepperdine 8



















Pepperdine Goals: Spencer Hamby 3, Matt Brown, Stephen Loomis, Andrew Milcovich, James Perry, Danny White
Pepperdine Saves: Bence Valics 11

UC Santa Barbara Goals: Matt Gronow 2, Matt Johnson 2, Lazar Komadinic, Bryce Miller, Chase Racich, Brian Shoemaker, Nick Tomasello, Teddy Zhang
UC Santa Barbara Saves: Myles Christian 11