After disposing of Loyola Marymount University 11–10 in its first game in conference play, No. 14 UCSD put in another dominating performance on Friday night, routing Fresno Pacific University 16–6 at Canyonview Aquatic Center. With their second win in as many conference games, the Tritons now stand at 6–4 overall and 2–0 in the Western Water Polo Association.
First Quarter: UCSD – 4, FPU – 2
UCSD opened the game firing on all cylinders, quickly scoring two goals from sophomore utility Cole Martinez and freshman utility Skylar Munatones. The Sunbirds leveled the score at 2–2 after two goals of their own, but UCSD took back the lead in the final minute of the quarter. Junior utility Arman Momdzhyan and freshman utility David Albers were the scorers for the Tritons.
Second Quarter: UCSD – 4, FPU – 1
FPU pulled within one score of the Tritons at the beginning of the second quarter, when senior driver David Maes scored on the team’s first possession. That was as close as the Sunbirds would get to UCSD for the rest of the game, however, as UCSD scored four goals in the period.
Third Quarter: UCSD – 4, FPU – 0
Sophomore goalkeeper Jack Turner held the Sunbirds scoreless in the third period en route to 12 saves for the games. UCSD’s offense also continued to hum, scoring four more goals on senior goalkeeper Dillon Robinson.
Fourth Quarter: UCSD – 4, FPU – 3
The Tritons entered the fourth quarter up 12–3 and cruised to an easy 10-goal win over the Sunbirds. UCSD allowed three goals in the period, as many as in the rest of game, but also scored four of its own, bringing the final score to 16–6.
“Defense needs to step it up,” Munatones told UCSD Athletics. “Coach has been telling us to step up our individual defense. This week is going to be a good week of training, Air Force is going to come at us as usual, and we need to be prepared for that game.”
Momdzhyan had a game-high four goals for the Tritons, followed by Martinez and senior utility Nassim Hmeidan who had two each. Eight other Tritons scored goals. For FPU, Maes scored four of the six goals, while Robinson compiled eight saves.
“I’m pleased that we won the game,” UCSD men’s water polo coach Denny Harper told UCSD Athletics. ”Fresno Pacific is a very improved team. But you know, we’re still making way too many mistakes, but we’ll get back to practice and correct those.”
UCSD’s next game will be on Friday, Sept. 30 at 7 p.m., when the team travels to Colorado Springs to take on Air Force in a Western Water Polo Association matchup.
“We held them to only six goals [on defense], however, just to sit there the last two ball games and watch us play a man-down 25 times [is too much], we have to correct that for when we go play at Air Force,” Harper said.