Men’s Water Polo Falls to Lions in Sudden-Death Overtime

    Photo by Megan Lee
    Photo by Megan Lee

    Tritons dealt heartbreaking loss in front of packed crowd at Canyonview Pool.

    Photo by Megan Lee
    Photo by Megan Lee

     

    The 13th-ranked UCSD men’s water polo team suffered a 13–12 loss in sudden-death overtime this past Wednesday against Western Water Polo Association rival Loyola Marymount University at Canyonview Pool. The Tritons now hold a 6–6 record this season, while the Lions improved to 3–5.

    The Lions snagged an early lead in the first 16 seconds of the first period after junior utility Jon Beck fired a shot home. UCSD answered with a goal of its own by sophomore driver Cole Martinez, then sprang to a one-point lead with a goal by junior driver Nick Alexander in the final seconds of the frame. However, LMU returned with a vengeance in the second quarter, outscoring UCSD 3–1 to regain the lead.

    The Lions could not hold their lead, though. The Tritons scored five in the third frame and limited LMU to just one goal, ending the quarter with a comfortable three-point cushion. LMU’s freshman center Dayne Jagga then leveled the game out with a hat trick in the early minutes of the fourth period. Beck fired another one home to pull the Lions into a one-point lead, but UCSD senior utility Chase Cockerill found the back of the cage in the final seconds of the game to send the teams into overtime.

    “We had a three-goal lead going into the fourth quarter. It was a learning lesson, though. We acted like the game was over and gave up goal after goal after goal,” UCSD Head Coach Denny Harper told the UCSD Athletics Department. “You can’t give up a three-goal lead like that, but they’ll learn.”

    LMU crushed the UCSD defense in the first period of overtime, scoring three unanswered goals before the Tritons’ senior two-meter Tyler Mancuso came back with a shot of his own. UCSD trailed by two going into the second period of overtime.

    Alexander smashed a penalty shot into the cage to start the second frame out, then found the target once more to close the period at 12–12 and send the teams to sudden-death overtime. However, a suspenseful six periods turned to heartbreak in the seventh period of play after junior utility Matt Cuozzo sent a shot home to give LMU a 13–12 victory.

    “LMU is a championship-caliber program,” Harper said. “It was a great game and a great environment. It’s an awesome rivalry, and historically for as long as we’ve been doing this, anything goes in these games.”

    The Tritons will have a week off before traveling north to take on UC Irvine on Oct. 1.

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