No. 5 Pepperdine broke a 9-9 tie with 2:26 to play in the fourth quarter to capture a 10-9 victory over No. 7 UCSB during a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation contest at Campus Pool on Sunday. The game was the final home contest for six Gauchos seniors — Dane Lindstrom, Michael Machado, Daniel Natalizio, Ratko Paunovic, Miles Price and Travis Watts — who were honored in a pregame ceremony.

With the loss, UCSB falls to 15-10 on the season and finishes the regular season with a 4-4 MPSF record, its best conference mark since 1993 when the Gauchos went 6-4. UCSB also lost its second consecutive game at Campus Pool, ending its home schedule with a 6-2 record. Pepperdine improves to 18-6 overall and 5-2 in conference games.

The Gauchos were first to get on the board when sophomore Brian Bishop posted a six-on-five goal 1:28 into the game. The Waves responded less than a minute later with a six-on-five goal of their own from Andrew Milcovich. With 2:08 left in the quarter, Pepperdine took its first lead of the game with a goal from Grant Miller. He added his second with 29 seconds to go in the first to put the Waves ahead 3-1.

Sophomore Milos Golic cut the Pepperdine lead to two goals 40 seconds into the second quarter when he scored his first of two six-on-five goals. The Waves were able to stretch their lead back to two goals when Milcovich scored his second of the game on a five-meter penalty shot. UCSB fought back and Lindstrom cut the deficit to 4-3 with a power play goal with 5:23 on the clock.

Pepperdine followed with a string of three unanswered goals to jump out to its biggest lead of the game at 7-3. The Gauchos broke their dry spell with back-to-back man-up goals from Price and junior Stefan Partelow during the final minute of the first half to cut the Waves’ lead to 7-5 at the break.

The Gauchos outscored the Waves, 3-2, in the third quarter to trail by just one, at 9-8, heading into the final quarter. Just 35 seconds into the fourth, junior Jesse Tootell scored a six-on-five goal to tie the game, 9-9. The two teams each earned a pair of ejections on which they were unable to capitalize before Pepperdine drew a Gauchos ejection with 2:43 to play. The Waves took a 30-second timeout to set their offense and, with 2:26 on the clock, Adam Hewko scored the eventual game-winner, putting the Waves on top, 10-9.

Lindstrom and Golic led the Gauchos with two goals apiece in the loss. Lindstrom was not the only senior to score; Price and Natalizio each tallied a point during their final game at Campus Pool. Junior goalie Michael Robinson tallied 11 saves in the loss.

Of the Gauchos’ nine goals, eight were during six-on-five advantages. In fact, UCSB went 8-for-14 during its man-up opportunities while Pepperdine was 4-for-12.

Milcovich, who had three goals in the win, led Pepperdine. Goalie John Hahn tallied seven saves for the Waves.

UCSB will take next weekend off from action before heading to the MPSF Tournament hosted by Pepperdine on Nov. 28. The conference tournament winner will earn an automatic bid to the 2008 NCAA Championships.

Lisa Skvarla is UCSB‘s assistant media relations director.