No. 3 Pacific Men's Water Polo Moves On To Semis, 10-8 Over UCSB
The No. 3 Pacific men's water polo team tallied two quick goals before halftime and never looked back in a 10-8 win over No. 6 UC Santa Barbara Saturday in Irvine. With the win Pacific advances to the SoCal Tournament semifinals against No. 2 USC at 12:15 p.m.
Kevin Oliveira led Pacific with three goals on the afternoon, while Sean Grady and Goran Tomasevic each tallied two. Balazs Szabo, Balazs Erdelyi, and Alex Obert also found the back of the net for the Tigers.
After falling behind, 1-0, Grady evened the match in the first quarter with his first goal of the game. The offense opened up in the second quarter, as Grady tallied again for a 2-1 lead, but UCSB's Derek Shoemaker quickly knotted things back up. Szabo and Eric Van de Mortel traded goals before Matt Gronow gave the Gauchos a 4-3 lead with 2:10 left before halftime.
Oliveira tied the game with 55 seconds left in the first half, and Tomasevic beat the clock with the go-ahead goal with two seconds left for a 5-4 lead.
After the Gauchos tied the game with the first goal of the second half, Tomasevic and Erdelyi posted back-to-back goals and the Tigers led the rest of the way.
Leading 8-6 after a goal by Obert, UCSB pulled within one, but Oliveira struck twice for 10-7 lead with 4:23 to play.
Senior goalkeeper Alex Malkis preserved the win, making 13 saves along the way.
Pacific improves to 12-1 on the year, while UCSB falls to 12-3.
The Tigers move on to the semifinals against No. 2 USC, which posted a 13-4 win over No. 16 St. Francis Brooklyn in the first round and a 14-7 win over No. 7 Long Beach State in the quarters.
The Tigers and Trojans meet at 12:15 p.m. at the UC Irvine Pool.