LOS ANGELES, Calif. – In a battle between two of the top teams in the nation, the No. 7 UC Santa Barbara men's water polo team started hot before No. 4 UCLA used a big second half to rally past the Gauchos for a 10-5 victory on Friday night at Spieker Aquatics Center.
Shane Hauschild opened the scoring for UCSB (4-3) with an early goal and Chad Nelson converted on a power play opportunity to put the Gauchos ahead 2-0 with 2:42 remaining in the first period. A second power play conversion, this time from Jacob Halle, made it 3-0 UCSB before the Bruins tacked on a goal with eight seconds left in the opening quarter.
UCLA (8-0) used the momentum to score three straight goals in the second to take a 4-3 lead, but Boris Jovanovic halted the run with a goal on yet another power play to tie the game 4-4 heading into the half.
In the third quarter it was all UCLA as the Bruins tallied five goals to take a 9-4 lead and hold of any attempt for a UCSB comeback to seal the game 10-5.
Along with Hauschild, Nelson, Halle and Jovanovic, Ivan Gvozdanovic also scored to give UCSB five goal scorers in the match. Justyn Barrios recorded five saves in front of the cage while UCLA's goalie Alex Wolf tallied 15 saves as UCSB was firing away all game.
The Bruins were led by four goals from Nicolas Saveljic and three from Alex Roelse.
The Gauchos will turn right around and host Air Force in their home opener tomorrow, Sept. 16 at 12:00 p.m. at Campus Pool.