LONG BEACH, Calif. – Junior attacker Cole Brosnan and sophomore driver Nathan Puentes' hat tricks helped the fourth-ranked UC Santa Barbara men's water polo team defeat No. 7 Long Beach State 11-10 in Golden Coast Conference play at the Ken Lindgren Aquatics Center on Saturday night.
The Gauchos (16-5, 1-1 GCC) went behind in the first quarter and went into halftime down by a goal as the Beach led 6-5, but two third period goals from Cole Brosnan and one from junior defender Mason McQuet turned the tide for the Gauchos after the break as UCSB led 8-7 heading into the final frame.
Senior utility Ivan Gvozdanovic extended the visitors' lead to 9-7 45 seconds into the fourth quarter, but LBSU's Rafael Real Vergara and Garrett Zaan closed the gap with goals two and a half minutes apart to make things level at 9-9.
Puentes scored via penalty shot with 4:08 left to put UCSB up 10-9, and senior driver Tommy Fellner added an insurance goal with 50 seconds left.
Long Beach would get a goal back with 28 seconds left through Nemanja Bakic, but the Gauchos were able to see the game out to claim victory.
Gvozdanovic was the Gauchos' catalyst on offense throughout the contest, dishing out three assists.
The win brings an end to the Gauchos' five-game losing streak, with four of those losses being one-goal defeats.
UCSB faces No. 8 Cal at Campus Pool at noon on Sunday. Live stats for the match will be available on the men's water polo schedule page.