Water Polo Splits On First Day Of SoCal Tournament
No. 8 Pacific Men's Water Polo opened the 2012 SoCal Tournament with a hard-fought 11-10 victory over No. 9 Long Beach State on Saturday, September 29 at Dos Pueblos High School. Then, the Tigers dropped a close contest to No. 1 USC 9-4 in Santa Barbara, Calif. to conclude the day.
Leading the Orange and Black on the day was junior attacker Balazs Erdelyi with six goals. The split ended the Tigers day with a record of 7-4.
The first quarter against Long Beach State was a defensive battle by both teams with a lone goal being scored by Casey Fleming.
However, the action would pick up in the second when Aleksandar Petrovic notched his first of three goals in the contest. Then, Balazs Erdelyi, who led all scorers in game, collected his first of four scores to put the Tigers up 3-0.
After a Long Beach State penalty score, Pacific would counter with a goal from Erdelyi, followed by a goal from Alex Obert. Before the end of the quarter, the 49ers would add another pair of goals to put the halftime score at 5-3.
Out of the break, the teams came out firing with five goals each. The first was by Long Beach State, but it was answered immediately by another Erdelyi score. Quickly after the Pacific goal, Long Beach State countered; however, the Tigers would answer with Alex Obert's second goal of the contest off the advantage to put Pacific ahead 7-5.
The squads would not separate anymore in the quarter after trading three goals to put the score at 10-8 heading into the final period. The Tigers' goals to close out the third frame were from Petrovic, Erdelyi and Kevin Oliveira.
The fourth and final frame belonged to Pacific's keeper Alex Malkis. After Long Beach State scored on a penalty to cut the score to 10-9, it was awarded another penalty shot with a chance to tie the contest. Malkis who recorded 14 saves in the morning had none bigger than the save he made to hold the Tigers lead on the penalty shot. With momentum, Pacific would extend its lead after another Petrovic goal, which the 49ers could not overcome despite recording the final goal of the contest.
The Tigers 11-10 victory set themselves up with a contest against the top-ranked Trojans of USC.
Unlike the first game of the day, the first quarter had plenty of scoring at Dos Pueblos High School. The Trojans scored first and third, but both goals were answered quickly by Erdelyi to make the score 2-2. However, USC would counter with the final goal of the frame to make the score 3-2.
The top-ranked Trojans would be the only team to score in the second period to extend the lead to 5-2 heading into the half.
Out of the break, USC and Pacific would barter goals to put the score at 7-4. The Tiger received goals in the frame from Obert and Fleming to set up the final quarter.
USC was the only team to score in the final period, extending the lead to its final spot at 9-4. The Tigers keeper Malkis collected a season-high 16 blocks to total 30 for the day.
Pacific is back in action tomorrow against California or UC Irvine at 8 am.
No. 8 Pacific 11, No. 9 Long Beach State 10
Pacific 1 - 4 - 5 - 1 -- 11
Long Beach State 0 - 3 - 5 - 2 -- 10
Pacific: Erdelyi 4, Petrovic 3, Obert 2, Oliveira, Fleming
LBSU: Kappos 2, Matulis 2, Lappas 2, White, Vrzic
Pacific: Malkis 14
LBSU: Meszaros 7
No. 8 Pacific 4, No. 1 USC 9
Pacific 2 - 0 - 2 - 0 -- 4
USC 3 - 2 - 2 - 2 -- 9
Pacific: Erdelyi 2, Obert, Fleming
USC: Genidounias 3, Rapsey 2, Davie, Vavic, Virgee, Watson
Pacific: Malkis 16
USC: Bonilla 6, Clark 4