Gauchos Suffer Another Heartbreaker, Fall to Pacific, 11-10

Jesse Gillespie (By Ron Robertson)
Jesse Gillespie (By Ron Robertson)

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - For the second consecutive day, the fifth-seeded UC Santa Barbara men's water polo team (15-12) was edged out, 11-10, at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championship Tournament. This time, the Gauchos were defeated by eighth-seeded Pacific (13-12) in a consolation game on Saturday morning at UCLA's Spieker Aquatics Center.

UCSB had grabbed the initial lead in the game off a goal from Derek Shoemaker. They had climbed out to a 3-2 lead with 3:56 to go in the first quarter off of a goal from Jesse Gillespie, but consecutive goals from Goran Tomasevic, who had a hat trick in the first eight minutes alone, gave the Tigers a 4-3 advantage.

In the second quarter, Pacific outscored the Gauchos by a 3-2 margin. The Tigers claimed a two-goal advantage (5-3) on a penalty shot by Daniel Lungu at the 6:30 mark. UCSB closed the gap with a pair of power-play goals from Matt Gronow at 6:00 and 5:08.

The tie was broken with a pair of goals from the Tigers in the last two minutes before halftime. Tom Koning's buzzer-beater put Pacific up 7-5.

Pacific never trailed in the second half, but UCSB kept nipping at the Tigers' heels and nearly overcame a late three-goal deficit.

The Tigers led, 9-7, after three quarters and pushed its margin to 11-8 after a goal from Erdelyi with 1:56 left in regulation.

UCSB scored just 14 seconds later on a shot from Liam Gaughan, cutting its deficit to 11-9. The Gauchos added a power-play goal from Gillespie with 43 seconds remaining. Trailing 11-10, UCSB regained possession with six seconds left, called a timeout, but was unable to get off one final shot.

Gillespie led the Gauchos with a hat trick in the loss. In the goal, Jay Lovero tallied eight saves. 

The Gauchos will play in the seventh-place game on Sunday at 10 a.m. against either Pepperdine or UC Irvine.

Pacific 11, UC Santa Barbara 10



















Pacific Goals: Goran Tomasevic 4, Tom Koning 3, Balazs Erdelyi 2, Daniel Lungu, Alex Obert Pacific Saves: Alex Malkis 8

UC Santa Barbara Goals: Jesse Gillespie 3, Matt Gronow 2, Eric Van de Mortel 2, Liam Gaughan, Lazar Komadinic, Derek Shoemaker
UC Santa Barbara Saves: Jay Lovero 8