Gvozdanovic, No. 7 UCSB Cruise Past Air Force in Home Opener

Ivan Gvozdanovic (Photo by Eric Isaacs)
Ivan Gvozdanovic (Photo by Eric Isaacs)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The No. 7 UC Santa Barbara men's water polo team used a strong second quarter and five goals from Ivan Gvozdanovic to earn a 16-7 win over Air Force in its home opener at Campus Pool on Saturday afternoon.

The Gauchos (5-3) took an early 2-0 lead after Reed Cotterill and Gvozdanovic both scored a goal in the opening minutes of the game. Air Force (1-5) answered with three consecutive goals, including two from Jack Empey to take a 3-2 lead entering the second quarter.

UCSB found its rhythm in the second quarter, scoring five goals in the first four minutes of the quarter to gain a lead that they would not relinquish. The Gauchos outscored Air Force 6-1 in the second period, with Gvozdanovic, Adam Lott, and Cole Brosnan scoring two goals apiece to give UCSB an 8-4 lead entering the half.

The momentum carried over to the second half, as UCSB closed out Air Force by scoring eight goals in the final two quarters to seal the 16-7 victory.  

Six Gauchos scored against Air Force, with all six recording multiple goals. Gvozdanovic led the way with five followed by Cotterill, Brosnan, and Jesse Morrison with three apiece. Lott and Chad Nelson contributed two for the UCSB offense. Connor Macdonald was solid in front of the cage with five saves while Cole Middleton added two for UCSB.  

Air Force was led by four goals from Jack Empey and nine saves from goalie James Burke.

UCSB returns to action in Los Angeles, Calif. next weekend where it will compete in the Mountain Pacific Invitational hosted by USC and LMU. The Gauchos open play against conference foe UC Irvine on Friday, Sept. 22 at 2:15 p.m. at Uytengsu Aquatics Center on the campus of USC.


UC Santa Barbara 16
, Air Force 7

 

1

2

3

4

Final

Air Force

3

1

2

1

7

UC Santa Barbara

2

6

3

5

16


Air Force Goals: Empey 4, Millard, Reynolds, Miller
Air Force Saves: Burke 9

UC Santa Barbara Goals: Gvozdanovic 5, Brosnan 3, Cotterill 3, Lott 2, Nelson 2, Morrison 1
UC Santa Barbara Saves: Macdonald 5, Middleton 2