Waves sink men's water polo at Canyonview

    The UCSD men’s water polo team lost 11-8 to Mountain Pacific Sports Federation leader Pepperdine University on Oct. 5 in the opening game of the NorCal Tournament. On Oct. 27, the Tritons looked for payback when the Pepperdine Waves visited UCSD to take on the Tritons at Canyonview pool, where the Waves edged the home team, 5-4.

    Seema Duggal
    Guardian

    UCSD started out strong, striking first on an opening period breakaway goal by sophomore Brandon Borso with an assist from senior goalie Lance Onken.

    But Pepperdine struck back with a goal of its own. William Rodriguez got a shot past Onken in the second period. Rodriguez’s goal finished the scoring in a first half marked by great defense on both sides of the pool, along with missed opportunities.

    In the third period, both offenses came to life. The two teams traded goals before Pepperdine’s Michael Hausmann and Jesse Smith netted consecutive goals to give the Waves a 4-2 lead. But with 12 seconds remaining in the period, Triton sophomore Clark Peterson scored to bring UCSD to within one goal.

    “”We were getting good looks at the goal,”” said Peterson, who is second on the team with 28 goals for the season.

    The Tritons tied the game at four early in the fourth quarter on Borso’s second goal of the game and seemed to be gaining some momentum. But on the Waves’ next possession, Smith returned the favor, scoring his own second goal of the game to give Pepperdine a 5-4 lead.

    Despite opportunities late in the game for the Tritons, the final five minutes were scoreless: A fitting end to a hotly contested battle on the defensive end.

    “”It wasn’t our best game,”” said sophomore driver Travis Boettner, who scored one of the Tritons’ third-period goals on a six-on-five situation. “”Lance played really well, but we didn’t shoot well. We missed a lot of open opportunities and didn’t play our best game.””

    Peterson echoed Boettner’s sentiments.

    “”Everything but our shooting was good,”” Peterson said. “”When you don’t cash in on the offensive end, you’re not going to be successful.””

    Onken noted the defense’s contributions to the Tritons’ effort.

    “”Our defense gave us an opportunity to win,”” said Onken, who finished the game with 11 saves. “”If there’s something we can take away from this game, it’s that we had opportunities. We didn’t play badly. We showed that we could play with MPSF teams.””

    In the Pepperdine game, UCSD continued substituting six-for-six.

    “”They were definitely worn down by the end of the game,”” Peterson said. “”If we win [the Western Water Polo Association Championship, six-on-six substitutions] will be a main reason.””

    The Tritons look to bounce back on the road this weekend. First, they’ll travel to Santa Barbara on Nov. 1 to take on the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos, a team with which they have split two games this season. On the following day, UCSD will go to No. 9-ranked Long Beach State to take on the 49ers, who beat the Tritons 7-5 earlier in the year and 12-11 last year in a double-overtime game at Canyonview Pool.

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