Strong Second Half Propels No. 7 Pepperdine Past No. 6 UCSB

Strong Second Half Propels No. 7 Pepperdine Past No. 6 UCSB

Nov. 18, 2007

MALIBU, Calif. - The No. 7 Pepperdine men's water polo team outscored UC Santa Barbara, 7-4, in the second half on its way to a 9-7 victory during Sunday's Mountain Pacific Sports Federation game at the Wave's Raleigh Runnels Memorial Pool.

The Gaucho record falls to 18-12 while Pepperdine improves to 26-8 overall. Both teams finish MPSF action with a 3-5 conference record. With the head-to-head win over the Gauchos, the Waves earn the No. 6 seed into next week's MPSF Tournament and UCSB will be seeded seventh.

Senior Matt Dale posted the first goal of the game to give UCSB an early 1-0 lead. After a failed six-on-five opportunity, the Waves called a timeout following a second Gaucho ejection. The timeout was effective as Caleb Hamilton scored the first Pepperdine goal of the game just as the excluded player reentered the field. After eight minutes of play, the score was deadlocked at 1-1.

Clayton Snyder scored first in the second quarter to put the Waves ahead 2-1. Freshman Milos Golic responded with the first of his two goals to once again tie the game up. With just 46 seconds to play in the first half, senior Ross Sinclair found the back of the Pepperdine net to give UCSB a 3-2 advantage heading into halftime.

Just nine seconds into the second half, Grant Miller scored to tie the game at 3-3. It was the first of three goals for Miller, who posted his entire hat trick in the third quarter. The Gauchos regained the lead during the next possession with Golic's second goal. The teams were tied three more times during the frame, but a goal from J.P. MacDonell gave the Waves a narrow 7-6 lead heading into the final eight minutes of play.

Junior Miles Price tied the game for the last time at 7-7 with a goal at 7:25. Pepperdine shut down the Gaucho offense for the remainder of the quarter and a goal from MacDonell at 2:27 proved to be the gamewinner as the Waves took the 9-7 victory.

Senior Rick Wright posted 12 saves in the loss while Pepperdine's Travis Stachowski tallied 10 for the Waves.

The seventh-seeded Gauchos will face second-seeded USC in the opening round of the MPSF Tournament next Friday, Nov. 23 at 11:20 a.m. The three-day tournament, which is being played at Cal's Spieker Aquatics Complex, determines which team from the conference will receive an automatic berth into the 2007 NCAA Championships.

Pepperdine 9, UC Santa Barbara 7

		1	2	3	4	Final
UCSB		1	2	3	1	7
Pepperdine	1	1	5	2	9

UCSB Goals: Matt Dale 2, Milos Golic 2, Ross Sinclair 1, Zsombor Vincze 1, Miles Price 1.
Pepperdine Goals: Grant Miller 3, J.P. MacDonell 2, Matt Digges 1, Brett Auer 1, Clayton Snyder 1, Caleb Hamilton 1.

UCSB Saves: Travis Stachowski 10.
Pepperdine Saves: Rick Wright 12.