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No. 5 Stanford Sneaks By No. 3 Pacific Men's Water Polo In OT, 9-8

Sep 21, 2013

The No. 3 Pacific men's water polo team was nipped in overtime by No. 5 Stanford in the quarterfinals of the NorCal Tournament, 9-8, Saturday at Diablo Valley College.

The Tigers (6-1) were led by Balasz Erdelyi's three goals, while Kevin Oliveira and Alex Obert each chipped in two. But the Cardinal tallied the only goal of extra time to hand Pacific its' first loss.

"We started in amazing fashion, jumping out 4-0 on them. The first quarter is the way we want to play," head coach James Graham said. "As the game went on, I think our offense started to slow down. But it was a great defensive effort all game long. Alex Malkis played great in the cage all game long."

Pacific jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first quarter, as Oliveira, Erdelyi, Obert and Goran Tomasevic each scored. Malkis blocked a penalty shot as Pacific carried the shutout into the second quarter.

The Cardinal picked up back-to-back goals before Oliveira tallied again to make if 5-2 Pacific. Obert found the back of the cage for a 6-3 Tigers advantage, but Stanford tallied twice more to cut Pacific's lead to 6-5 at the half.

Stanford's Forrest Watkins scored the lone goal of the third quarter, knotting the match at 6-6 headed into the final period of regulation.

Pacific found themselves trailing for the first time in the match, 7-6, on a goal by SU's Bret Bonanni. But Erdelyi finished a penalty shot with 2:45 to tie the game at 7-7, and then gave the Tigers the lead with 1:51 remaining as he ripped home a long shot for an 8-7 advantage.

But Bonanni forced overtime with 37 seconds left, as his shot found the net after changing direction off the defense. Neither side could take the lead in the first overtime period, but with 1:17 remaining, Watkins posted the game winner.

Pacific will face Pepperdine 8 a.m. Sunday at Cal's Spieker Pool.

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