No. 4 Gauchos Stay Perfect after Day One of Inland Empire Classic

Sam Nangle had a hat trick in the Gauchos' opening match of the Inland Empire Classic in Redlands, Calif. on Saturday. (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Sam Nangle had a hat trick in the Gauchos' opening match of the Inland Empire Classic in Redlands, Calif. on Saturday. (Photo by Tony Mastres)

REDLANDS, Calif. – The UC Santa Barbara men's water polo team defeated Fresno Pacific, Occidental, and Redlands on the first day of the Inland Empire Classic at the Thompson Aquatic Center on Saturday.

With the trio of victories on the day, the Gauchos (7-0) start the season without a loss through seven games for only the third time in program history, and for the first time since 2012.

UCSB 25, Fresno Pacific 5

The UCSB squad achieved its largest margin of victory in the first game with a 20-point drubbing of Fresno Pacific. A host of Gauchos scored multiple goals in the matchup, led by junior attacker Cole Brosnan and sophomore driver Nathan Puentes with four each. Freshman attackers Colton Gregory and Logan Sutter and sophomore attacker Sam Nangle each recorded hat tricks.

Gregory was joined by redshirt freshman drivers Sean Rosenberg, who had two goals, and John Rankin in scoring their first career collegiate goals.

Junior goalkeeper Tiago Bonchristiano was in goal for all four quarters, making nine saves in the process.

UCSB 22, Occidental 7

The Gauchos scored 22 points on 42 shots, the most that the team had in all three games. Sutter had four goals in the match, while Brosnan had three to bring each of their totals up to seven on the day.

Freshman attacker Mason Chambliss put his first career goal away in the game.

Junior attacker Leo Yuno picked up four assists throughout the win.

Senior goalkeeper Justyn Barrios started all four quarters and made seven saves and picked up two steals for the Gauchos.

UCSB 18, Redlands 4

The Gauchos were in control of all three games from the onset, and it was no different in the third and final game of the day. After outscoring the Bulldogs 5-2 in the first quarter with goals from five different players, the Gauchos scored the same amount of goals in the second to take a 10-3 halftime lead.

No one player had more than two goals as 13 different players found the back of the net, including senior utility Ivan Gvozdanovic who earned his first goal and assist of the weekend.

Sophomore goalkeeper Danny Roland was credited with the win after playing three quarters. The Golden Coast Conference player of the week made five saves.

A pair of wins tomorrow would see the Gauchos tie the program record for the best-ever start to a season, set in 1988 when UCSB won its first 9 games.

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