Pacific Splits Pair Of Matches To Open Season At NorCal Tournament
The Pacific men's water polo opened its 2012 campaign splitting a pair of matches at the NorCal Tournament at Stanford on Saturday, Sept. 15. The Tigers opened with a solid 9-7 win over No. 10 Loyola Marymount before falling to No. 2 UCLA, 9-4, in their second match of the day.
After its first day of competition, Pacific sits at 1-1 on the year. Sophomore Alex Obert led the Tigers with five goals on the day while junior Balazs Erdelyi netted four scores. Junior goalkeeper Alex Malkis blocked 21 shots playing every minute in the cage for Pacific.
In the Tigers' first match of the day, freshman Aleksandar Petrovic scored his first collegiate goal to get Pacific on the board against LMU. Erdelyi put home a penalty shot from five meters before junior Andres Oneto finished a scoring opportunity to put Pacific up 3-1 at the end of the first quarter.
Erdelyi kept the pressure on the Lions in the second frame, getting his second goal of the match. Junior Kevin Oliveira found the back of the cage for the Tigers' second score of the frame, spotting Pacific a 5-3 lead heading into intermission.
Obert took over in the third period, notching both of Pacific's goals to give the Tigers a 7-4 lead with eight minutes left. LMU would mount a comeback in the fourth quarter, but goals from Obert and sophomore Sean Grady sealed the win for Pacific.
Leading the Tigers in scoring was Obert as the Loomis native tallied his first career hat trick. Erdelyi added a pair of goals for Pacific. Malkis finished the match with nine blocks in a complete game effort.
LMU's Mark Menis notched a hat trick to lead the Lions in scoring. Goalkeeper Kyle Testman recorded five saves.
Returning to the pool for its second match of the day, Pacific hung with No. 2 UCLA throughout the first half. The Bruins jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead before Obert managed to draw a penalty shot that Erdelyi put away. UCLA would score with just 29 seconds left in the first frame to take a 2-1 lead into the second quarter.
After another UCLA goal, Obert pulled the Tigers to within one on a pass from Oliveira on a power play. Erdelyi later knotted the game at 3-3 with a score from the perimeter, but the Bruins answered on their ensuing possession to go back up by one at 4-3. UCLA closed out the second period with a late goal to take a 5-3 lead into halftime.
The Bruins began to pull away in the third frame, notching the first two goals of the period to go up 7-3. Pacific would finally break through in the fourth quarter on a nice backhand goal from Obert with 4:20 left to play, cutting UCLA's lead to three at 7-4. It would be the last goal for the Tigers, however, as UCLA sealed the win with a pair of late goals.
Once again, it was Obert leading Pacific's offensive attack as he put away two goals. Erdelyi was responsible for the Tigers' other two scores. Malkis had an outstanding outing in the cage, saving 12 shots.
UCLA got a hat trick from Josh Samuels to lead all scorers. Goalkeeper Matt Rapacz tallied 10 blocks for the Bruins.
Pacific resumes play at the NorCal Tournament tomorrow, Sept. 16, taking on the loser of California-UC Irvine at 9:25 am in their first of two games on the day. The tournament website can be found here.
No. 7 Pacific 9, No. 10 Loyola Marymount 7
Pacific 3 - 2 - 2 - 2 -- 9
Loyola Marymount 1 - 2 - 1 - 3 -- 7
Pacific - Obert 3, Erdelyi 2, Grady, Oliveira, Oneto
Loyola Marymount - Menis 3, Colton, Mitrovic, Stipanovich, Villarreal
Pacific - Malkis 9
Loyola Marymount - Testman 5
No. 2 UCLA 9, No. 7 Pacific 4
Pacific 1 - 2 - 0 - 1 -- 4
UCLA 2 - 3 - 2 - 2 -- 9
Pacific - Erdelyi 2, Obert 2
UCLA - Samuels 3, Barabino, Fuentes, L. Reynolds, P. Reynolds, Wendt, White
Pacific - Malkis 12
UCLA - Rapacz 10