UCSD's national title run ends

    The UCSD men’s water polo team finished its season at the National Collegiate Athletic Association Championships on Dec. 7 and Dec. 8 at Loyola Marymount University.

    Guardian file photo

    The Stanford Cardinal gained a 5-1 first-half advantage over the Western Water Polo Association champion Tritons when UCSD fell to third-ranked Stanford 10-5. The loss was UCSD’s third to Stanford this season.

    “”We were looking to catch them off-guard,”” said UCSD sophomore Jonathan Hopkins. “”But they got some early shots off, and we started slow.””

    UCSD’s game plan was to shut down Stanford’s All-American Tony Azevedo, which it accomplished, allowing only one goal to the U.S. Olympic Team member.

    But Stanford junior Mike Derse stepped up for Azevedo, scoring three of Stanford’s first four goals and netting four for the contest.

    “”We are very, very disappointed by this loss,”” said UCSD head coach Denny Harper. “”Our program has a great history. With us, it’s not about the big budgets and scholarships. Our team members are true student athletes. Those kids play because they love it.””

    On Dec. 8, the Tritons played Queens College from New York in the consolation game. The Tritons, down by two goals in the fourth period, got late goals from Brandon Borso and Clark Peterson to tie the game and send it into overtime.

    In the first overtime period, UCSD’s Paul Motschall and Queens College’s Caner Erdogru traded goals, and the game was tied at five before Erdogru scored again with five seconds remaining to give Queens College the overtime victory.

    “”[UCSD goalie Lance Onken] made some incredible blocks today,”” said Queens College head coach Derek Ellingson. “”Skips that usually go didn’t go today.””

    Borso paced the Triton attack with two goals in the game.

    “”Losing to an Eastern representative is a stinger,”” Harper said. “”We’re bummed out.””

    With the loss, the California Collegiate Athletic Association champion Tritons finished their season with a record of 19-11 and finished in fourth place in the NCAA tournament.

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