On day two of the season-opening Triton Invitational, the No. 8 UC Santa Barbara men’s water polo team earned a similar result as the previous day, winning one game while coming up just one goal short in the other. The Gauchos needed overtime to decide both games, beginning the day with a slim 12-11 defeat to No. 5-T Long Beach State and finishing strong with an offensive outburst in a 20-17 win over No. 13-T UC San Diego.
Adam Gyenis and Dash McFarland had big days for UCSB, scoring seven goals each to help lead the Gauchos to a 2-2 start to the season.
UCSB 20, UCSD 17
Santa Barbara got out to a back-and-forth start in its second game of the day against the host Tritons (1-3). Sam Nangle and Logan Sutter answered the first two UCSD goals, and Adam Gyenis scored twice within 70 seconds to give UCSB its first lead of the game, 3-2 at the 2:45 mark of the opening period.
The Gauchos led 5-4 after one and would again outscore the Tritons by a goal in the second quarter to go into halftime leading 9-7. In the third, the Gauchos scored four goals for the third straight period to carry a 13-11 lead into the final frame.
Nangle – who found the net in all four quarters in regulation – opened the scoring in the fourth and Ryan Matarangas capped a 3-0 run to put UCSB up 15-11 with 4:40 to go. The Tritons found some late magic though, as Vedran Latkovic scored three times in the final two minutes to send the game into overtime. Latkovic led all players with six goals to go with two assists.
In the extra session, Gyenis added two more goals to bring his total to four, tying Nangle for team-high honors. Leading by a goal in the final two minutes, Luke Redoutey and Dash McFarland put the finishing touches to seal the Gauchos’ 20-17 win.
Ryan Brosnan finished with a game-high five assists. Tommy Hawkins tallied four assists with two goals. Gyenis had the most productive performance of any Gaucho all weekend, contributing to seven goals as he finished with three assists.
All three Gaucho goalkeepers saw time defending the cage. Senior Danny Roland led the way with 10 saves in 22 minutes of action.
LBSU 12, UCSB 11
In its first game of the day, UCSB got out to a great start leading the No. 5 ranked Beach 6-2 following a Sam McKenzie goal at the 3:31 mark of the second quarter.
The Gauchos would go back up by four goals, 7-3 on a McFarland goal a minute later. It was one of McFarland’s game-high four goals and his third in the opening half alone. However, Long Beach would embark on a 4-0 run midway through the third quarter.
The Beach took its first lead of the game, 9-8 with 3:57 to go in the fourth. McFarland and Gyenis put the Gauchos in position to win it, scoring the next two to give UCSB. 10-9 advantage with under three minutes to go.
Unfortunately for the Gauchos, Long Beach found an equalizer with just 16 seconds left in regulation. The Beach scored the first two goals of overtime before Nangle made it a one-goal game with 1:22 remaining, but it was too little, too late.
Goalkeeper Levi Lentin got the start and made five saves in the opening half, while Roland came in the second half and added another.
UCSB will remain on the road for two more games next weekend, starting with a 3 p.m. meeting at No. 9 San Jose State on Saturday.
Michael Jorgenson writes about sports for UCSB.