LOS ANGELES, Calif. - The No. 7 UC Santa Barbara men's water polo team picked up a pair of wins on the second day of the Mountain Pacific Invitational, edging San Jose State 13-12 before beating Princeton 14-7 at Burns Recreation Center on Saturday afternoon.
The Gauchos had their hands full against San Jose State, who received votes in the most recent CWPA poll. Riding two first half goals from Ivan Gvodzanovic, UCSB took a 6-5 lead entering the half.
The teams continued to battle in the second half of the match, as UCSB could not shake the Spartans despite leading by three goals several times throughout the half. After a goal from Ashley Castle pulled the Spartans within one late in the third quarter, UCSB answered with a 3-1 run to go ahead 12-9 early in the fourth. San Jose State scored two quick goals in the last two minutes of the game to pull within one, but failed to even the score in the final minute and the Gauchos held on to win 13-12.
Gvodzanovic and Nelson led the scoring for UCSB, tallying three goals apiece, while seven other Gauchos contributed one goal in the winning effort. Defensively, Connor Macdonald deflected 10 shots and recorded two steals.
In the second game of the afternoon, the Gauchos overcame a slow start to beat No. 12 Princeton 14-7. UCSB found its rhythm in the second half, outscoring Princeton 8-3 in the final two quarters to cruise to victory.
Eight different players scored for UCSB, as five tallied two goals throughout the match. Macdonald was solid in cage, tallying nine saves and a steal in the win.
UCSB (7-4) closes out the Mountain Pacific Invitational against UC Davis at Burns Recreation Center tomorrow, Sept. 24, at 2:30 pm.
Live stats for the game can be found here.