Water polo barely beats Cal Baptist

    The UCSD men’s water polo team, national runner-up last year and undefeated this year, added to its perfect record with a 13-11 victory over California Baptist University last Friday at Canyonview Pool.

    Guardian File Photo

    Cal Baptist, ranked 16th in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, fell behind early as UCSD jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the first quarter.

    By halftime, UCSD led 8-3 after posting three goals in the second quarter to the Lancers’ two.

    The second half belonged to the Lancers, however, as they outscored the Tritons 4-3 in the third quarter to pull within 11-7.

    “”We got off to a fine start, but just didn’t play well at all,”” said UCSD head coach Denny Harper. “”[The players] did not have respect for Cal Baptist.””

    Cal Baptist owned the fourth quarter, putting up four goals to UCSD’s two, but it was too little too late and the Tritons held on for the victory.

    “”It was a crappily played game against a highly motivated Cal Baptist team,”” Harper said. “”They are just not maintaining their focus for one hour. But there are lessons to be learned from all of this.””

    According to Harper, the Triton’s relatively weak opponents this year have hurt UCSD more than they have helped.

    “”We’ve got to play teams that are stronger than us,”” he said. “”[Also] it never helps when all we’ve done is play in San Diego.””

    The Tritons’ stellar season last year also has worked against them this year, along with the loss of some key players.

    “”Everybody brings their best game when they play UCSD,”” Harper said.

    “”We’ve got a lot of new faces,”” he continued. “”It’s going to take awhile to develop.””

    The Tritons, ranked ninth in the NCAA, were led by Brett Allan, who scored four of UCSD’s 13 goals. Matt Ellis, Brandon Borso and Jonathan Hopkins each added two goals apiece.

    Cal Baptist was led by George Phiripes, Matt Berry and Ante Kunac, who each contributed two goals for the Lancers.

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