SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – The UC Santa Barbara men's water polo team ended their 2015 season on a high note with a 7-6 win over Long Beach State to seal a 7th place finish in MPSF Championships.
In the seniors' final game, Derek Shoemaker recorded one goal, a field block, and four steals, Nick Jordan drew six ejections, Liam Gaughan earned a kickout and made a steal, and goalkeeper Chris Whitelegge totaled 17 saves to become the second player in MPSF history to reach 895 career saves.
A penalty-filled first half left room for only three Gaucho scores to shut-out the 49ers 3-0 through the first and second quarter. Santa Barbara goals came from Shane Hauschild off a 6-on-5 play and Boris Jovanovic in the first quarter, and another 6-on-5 goal from Hauschild in the second quarter to put the Gauchos up 3-0 at the half.
The first Long Beach goal of the game came in their first possession of the third quarter and it was followed by another goal three minutes later to bring the score to 3-2, Gauchos. Another goal from Jovanovic and a successful penalty shot from Hauschild extended the Gaucho lead again, but the 49ers would sneak in one more goal before the quarter ended to bring the score to 5-3 going in to the fourth quarter.
In the final quarter the Gauchos edged in two more goals, one from Shoemaker and one from Mitch Hamilton. The 49ers added three more goals to the scoreboard but several penalties at the end of the game would seal their fate as they fell to the Gauchos, 7-6.
On behalf of the men's water polo team, thank you to all who have supported their 2015 season. We will see you next year!