Water polo ends year

The UCSD men’s water polo team advanced to the finals of the Western Water Polo Association Tournament, picking up two easy wins on Friday and Saturday.

Last year, the Tritons captured the WWPA crown on their way to a national second-place finish behind powerhouse UCLA.

In the quarterfinals, held at the Burns Recreation Center Pool at Loyola Marymount University, the No. 2-seed Tritons easily dispatched of seventh-seeded University of La Verne 12-6 to advance to the semifinals.

Up 6-2 at the half and 9-2 after the third quarter, UCSD had few problems with La Verne. Matthew Ustaszewski, Clark Petersen, Jonathan Hopkins and senior Co-Captain Jonathan Samuels all scored two goals to lead the Tritons. Goalie Lance Onken made four saves on the afternoon.

Coming off the victory over La Verne, UCSD was flying high heading into a semifinal game with the University of Redlands.

Samuels led the Tritons in scoring with three goals helping his team to an 11-6 victory. The Tritons jumped out to a 5-2 lead after the first quarter and never looked back, outscoring Redlands 3-2 in the fourth quarter for final score. Hopkins and Brandon Borso each added a pair of goals for the Tritons. Onken was forced into six saves.

The Tritons, ranked ninth in the nation, next took on Loyola — ranked eighth in the nation — in the WWPA finals on Sunday.

However, Loyola, backed by a home crowd and a previous victory against UCSD this season, was too much for the Tritons and came out on top of a 4-2 score.

After a scoreless first half, Kris Barr put the Lions ahead 1-0. Less than 20 seconds later, Hopkins tied the game and then Vladimir Djaipic put the Tritons in the lead 2-1. However, it wasn’t enough, as Loyola tied the score at 2 with 3:43 left in the game, then Kevin Witt threw in two goals to give the Lions the victory.