SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – The UC Santa Barbara men's water polo team drew quite the crowd this past Sunday in their double-win day over the Navy Midshipmen, 13-7, and the Loyola Marymount Lions, 8-5.
Boris Jovanovic led the Gauchos' scoring efforts with four goals across the two games. Senior goalkeeper Chris Whitelegge tallied 13 saves and two assists for the day.
Boris Jovanovic found redemption after a missed penalty shot with a steal, breakaway, and goal to bring the score to 3-0. One possession later an assist from Chris Whitelegge to Jovanovic put the Gauchos up by four. A 6-on-5 goal from Navy in the final minutes of the quarter put them on the board to leave the first quarter score at 4-1.
Senior wholeset Nick Jordan kicked off the second quarter with a no-look backhand out of set to put the Gauchos up by four.
The momentum continued for Santa Barbara with a steal from Mitch Hamilton that set up an offense that allowed Jordan and Cotterill to connect and score in the last two seconds of the shot clock.
Thomas Martinho scored a goal halfway through the quarter to bring the score to 7-1, Gauchos. The Midshipmen gained some ground in the second quarter, scoring four unreturned goals to bring the score to 8-5 at the half.
The second half allowed the Gauchos to pick up their momentum again, and in the first possession an exclusion drawn by Jordan out of two-meters set up a 6-on-5 offense where he would go on to score after an assist from Shane Hauschild.
Goals from Derek Shoemaker and Jovanovic brought the score at the end of the third quarter to 11-6.
The final quarter featured two goals from senior attacker Alden Geller and one goal from Navy.
The Gauchos won the game 13-7. Goalkeeper Chris Whitelegge tallied four saves and one assist.
The Gauchos completed a perfect 3-0 week in defeating Loyola Marymount 8-5.
Chris Whitelegge was on fire in the first quarter with four blocked shots in a row, and teammates Nicholas Jordan, Boris Jovanovic, and Shane Hauschild scored a goal a piece, giving the team a 3-0 run heading into the second quarter.
The Lions finally answered with a goal shot into the upper right corner of the net making the score at 3-1. Following three failed attempts to score again, Dayne Jagga of the Lions was able to skip the ball into the net one final time before the half concluded. However, with 1:11 left in quarter, Tor Jensen answered his goal with an aggressive goal flying straight into the back of the net, making the score at halftime 4-2, Gauchos.
Both teams were off to an extremely slow start in the second half, with neither one scoring for the first four and a half minutes. Derek Shoemaker picked up the pace with 3:32 left in the third quarter with amazing steal from the Lions and a breakaway goal shot into the lower left of the net, bringing the score to 5-2 with the Gauchos still in the lead. A minute later, Liam Lennis scored his second goal of the night, boosting the Lions' score by another point. After an ejection for the opposing team, Anthony Buljan scored his first goal of the game on a 6-on-5 play with just three seconds left in the third quarter leaving the score at 6-3.
Just 30 seconds into the final quarter, Shane Hauschild scored another goal for the Gauchos and Derek Shoemaker followed up at 5:35 with his second goal of the night, giving the Gauchos 4 unanswered shots and putting the score at 8-3. After starting for his second game that day, Chris Whitelegge handed over his spot in net to Liam Lenihan about halfway through the fourth quarter. The Lions scored another goal with 3:41 left in the game, bringing the score to 8-4, and added one more with 44.9 seconds remaining. However, the late surge came too late, as UCSB was able to hold on and win 8-5.