November 3, 2012

Men’s Water Polo Falls to Undefeated No. 1 USC

Los Angeles, Calif.Kicking off their three game road swing this week, No. 5 UC Santa Barbara (15-7, 1-4) was faced with a tough task against No. 1 USC (21-0, 6-0). After losing last week in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation conference play against Pepperdine, UCSB traveled to USC looking to pull off the upset. The Trojans remain undefeated though, as they defeated the Gauchos by the score of 12-7.

The Gauchos fell behind early as Nikola Vavic of USC tallied his first goal of the game on a 6-on-5 opportunity with 6:48 left in the first period. With another goal from Vavic and a score from Kostas Genidounias, the Trojans extended their lead to 3-0 after the first period.

With a 4:49 goal from Genidounias, USC extended their lead over UCSB to 4-0. The Gauchos were struggling to score, but the breakthrough came late in the second period with a 6-on-5 goal by Eric Van de Mortel. After the goal by Van de Mortel, UC Santa Barbara trailed USC at the half, 4-1.

Once again the Trojans struck first with two more early goals in the third period, extending their lead to 6-1. UCSB fired back with two unanswered goals as Teddy Zhang scored followed by Eric Van de Mortel's second goal of the game with 3:46 remaining in the period. For USC, Jeremy Davie and Tobias Preuss answered the mini run of the Gauchos as they created the comfortable 8-3 lead. With 25 seconds remaining in the third period, Teddy Zhang netted his second score of the match making the score, 8-4.

The fourth period was no different as USC answered every challenge presented by UCSB. Nikola Vavic completed his hat trick with an early goal in the fourth period. After a goal from Derek Shoemaker made the score 9-5, the Trojans fired back increasing their lead to 11-5 with 5:36 left in the match. With goals coming from Nicholas Jordan and Brendan McElroy, UC Santa Barbara cut into the lead, but ultimately fell to the undefeated Trojans by the score of 12-7.

Eric Van de Mortel and Teddy Zhang led the Gauchos' offense with two goals apiece while Derek Shoemaker, Nicholas Jordan and Brendan McElroy all added one goal. Senior goalkeeper Myles Christian delivered another solid game as he led the defense with a total of 11 saves.

UC Santa Barbara will be on the road next week to finish their three game road trip. Upcoming opponents are Pacific on Saturday, Nov. 10 and Cal on Sunday, Nov. 11 with both road matches being played at noon. The Gauchos will then return home to play their last match of the season against Long Beach State on Saturday, Nov. 17, at noon before the MPSF tournament kicks off on Nov. 23.

Tickets for home men's water polo games are available by visiting the Ticket Office in the Intercollegiate Athletics Building on campus, by calling (805) 893-UCSB or by clicking here. 

 

1

2

3

4

Final

UC Santa Barbara

0

1

3

3

7

USC

3

1

4

4

12

UC Santa Barbara Goals: Eric Van de Mortel (2), Teddy Zhang (2), Derek Shoemaker, Nicholas Jordan, Brendan McElroy
UC Santa Barbara Saves: Myles Christian (11)

USC Goals: Nikola Vavic (3), Kostas Genidounias (2), Jeremy Davie (2), Mace Rapsey, Tobias Preuss, Zach Lucas, Matt Burton, Rex Butler.
USC Saves: James Clark (14)