Tritons Drop Their Third Straight Game

    It’s been a rough week for the UCSD men’s water polo team. After taking ninth place last week in the Long Beach SoCal tournament, defeating long time rival, Loyola Marymount University and soaring to a No. 9 overall national ranking, the Tritons have since lost some very close games to good opponents.

    Despite staying close to home, with a home game and a road trip to Long Beach, the men’s team dropped two straight games to No. 12 Cal State Long Beach and No. 5 UCSB. The Tritons have lost three consecutive games since attaining their ninth place rank — their highest ranking of the season.

    On the road Wednesday at Cal State Long Beach, the Tritons and 49ers went back and forth through the entire game, with neither team taking a lead larger than two for more than a minute.

    The 49ers jumped ahead early, taking a quick three-point lead in the first quarter, but the Tritons — led by junior utility Brain Donohoe’s two goals — fought back, narrowing the difference before much time had passed.

    By the end of the first eight minutes, the two teams had scored nine goals collectively. But after the first quarter, the offense dried up. Both teams scored a goal each in the next two quarters, but neither team could capitalize on the five ejections.

    Locked in a one-point game, the two teams fought for the advantage in the fourth period.

    The Triton defense continued to shut down the 49er attack, while the offense for UCSD found the back of the net twice in the first four minutes.

    It seemed like UCSD was going to sneak away with another comeback victory, but with less than 10 seconds left, the 49ers scored to tie the game and sent it into overtime.

    Cal State Long Beach scored a minute into the extra period and despite an offensive push to the goal, the Tritons were not able to find the net.

    The loss counts as the Tritons’ first defeat in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation match for the season.

    On Saturday, the Tritons looked to upset, as they hosted No. 5 UCSB.

    Despite the narrow defeat in Long Beach earlier in the week, the Tritons came out strong and with less than three minutes to play, were one goal away from the home upset. They were unable to pull it together in the end.

    The Gauchos took a 2-1 lead in the first quarter and extended that lead in the second quarter, 4-2.

    The Tritons fought their way back to pull within one by the end of the third quarter. A huge penalty save from senior David Morton helped to keep the game close, with the score at 7-6.

    Starting the fourth quarter down by one, the Tritons slipped early and the Gauchos got a goal within the first two minutes. UCSD fought back halfway through the quarter, pulling to within one again after sophomore Josh Stiling put away a cross-pool pass from William Brown.

    But the Gauchos widened the gap, scoring another goal with 1:53 remaining.

    Still down by two, senior Graham Saber scored coming out of a timeout with thirty seconds left to play, bringing the score to 9-8.

    Despite the support of a large UCSD crowd, the Gauchos were able to maintain possession for the last thirty seconds and landed another goal to take the 10-8 victory. The Tritons have dropped three straight matches since the SoCal Tournament two weeks ago.

    UCSD will look to beat the slump on Friday against rival Loyola Marymount on Friday, Oct. 21. The Tritons have split games against Loyola Maryount so far this season and have outscored them by two goals.

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