SAN JOSE, CALIF. – In the team's Gold Coast Conference opener, the No. 8 UC Santa Barbara men's water polo team could not muster enough offense to get past the No. 16 San Jose State Spartans in a 7-6 loss at West Valley College on Friday night. Ivan Gvozdanovic and Boris Jovanovic both sat out with injuries, and without the prolific duo, the Gauchos failed to muster enough offense to rally versus the Spartans in the fourth quarter.
Both teams started off slow, as the Gauchos took a 1-0 lead after Shane Hauschild found the back of the net on a power play goal midway through the first quarter. That would be the only goal of the period for either team, as the Gauchos led 1-0 going into the second quarter.
It looked as if UCSB had control of the game after Brannan Haket opened the second with a quick goal, but the Spartans halted the Gauchos offensive attack with a strong second quarter. The Spartans answered with three consecutive goals, the last one coming with fifty seconds left in the quarter to put San Jose State up 3-2 entering halftime.
The Spartans momentum carried over to the third quarter, as they outscored the Gauchos 3-1. After trailing 4-2, Shane Hauschild scored his second goal of the game, but San Jose State's Ben Hauschild fired two goals into the net for the Spartans, giving his team a 6-3 lead before the final period of play.
The Gauchos found their rhythm in the fourth, scoring three goals to the Spartans' one. Brannan Haket scored early in the quarter to bring the Gauchos within three. In the final minute of play, goals from Spencer Wood and Jesse Morrison brought the Gauchos within one, but the Spartans kept the ball away from UCSB as time ran out. The Gauchos fell to the Spartans with a final score of 7-6.
Hauschild and Haket led the Gauchos offense with two goals apiece, while Wood and Morrison each scored one. Goalie Justyn Barrios had a solid day in cage with nine saves against San Jose State.
The Gauchos drop to 9-7 on the season, and 0-1 in league play. They continue their Northern California trip against Stanford on Saturday at Avery Aquatics Center.
San Jose State Goals: Hauschild 2, Mercep 2, Cupic 1, Pardon 1, Lovatelli 1
San Jose State Saves: Palmer 7
UCSB Goals: Haket 2, Hauschild 2, Morrison 1, Wood 1
UCSB Saves: Barrios 9