No. 6 Gauchos defeat No. 7 Long Beach State

LONG BEACH, Calif. – UC Santa Barbara men's water polo opened its weekend games with a solid win over No. 7 Long Beach State 9-6. 

Long Beach State jumped out in front with the first goal of the game. A minute after, junior Eric Van de Mortel tallied a goal for the Gauchos to tie the game. With 0:35 left in the first quarter, senior Matt Gronow scored to help the Gauchos take the lead 2-1 heading into the second quarter.

Eric Van de Mortel scored his second goal of the game to open the second period. The 49ers were able to score another goal, giving the Gauchos a tight lead. Both teams were able to tally another goal, with the Gauchos leading 4-3. From there, UCSB took control of the game. With two goals from sophomore Kevin Cappon, a goal from Matt Gronow, and another goal from sophomore Ryan Baliani, UC Santa Barbara finished the first half up 7-3.

The third quarter consisted mostly of great defense on both ends of the pool. The 49ers kept the Gauchos scoreless, while UCSB only allowed one goal in for Long Beach State. Sophomore Chris Whitelegge had a remarkable penalty block at the end of the quarter to help the Gauchos on the defensive end.

The 49ers opened the fourth quarter with a goal before the Gauchos answered right back with two of their own. Long Beach State was able to score one more goal, but it wasn't enough as UCSB defeated the 49ers 9-6. 

The Gauchos are now 15-5 overall and 2-1 in the MPSF conference. UC Santa Barbara men's water polo continues its action on Sunday with a 12 p.m. match against No. 1 USC at Campus Pool.  

UCSB 9, Long Beach State 6



















UCSB Goals: Eric Van de Mortel 3, Matt Gronow 2, Kevin Cappon 2, Derek Shoemaker, Ryan Baliani
UCSB Saves: Chris Whitelegge 10

Long Beach St. Goals: Zacchary Kappos 2, Carter Taylor 2, Nolan McConnell, Devin Mefford
Long Beach St. Saves: Pavo Ljepopio 8