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Saturday, January 19 , 2019, 8:43 am | Fair 47º

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Water Polo: UCSB Takes It To the Limit Against Long Beach State

Gauchos shine in overtime again with 13-12 victory.

The No. 7 UCSB men’s water polo team preserved its perfect home record Saturday with a 13-12 overtime win in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation contest with No. 10 Long Beach State at Campus Pool. The drama-prone Gauchos have used overtime periods to capture their last four wins, including their last three victories at home.

With the win, UCSB improves to 14-8 overall and 3-2 in MPSF games. Long Beach State falls to 11-14 overall and 0-5 in conference play. The Gauchos are now 5-0 at home and have posted a 5-1 record in overtime contests this season.

Junior driver Sean Castillo opened the scoring for the Gauchos with a six-on-five goal just over a minute into the game. Long Beach State’s Ashley Blythen evened the score with a counter attack goal with 5:02 to play in the first quarter, but goals from Dane Lindstrom and Milos Golic gave UCSB a 3-1 advantage early in the quarter. The 49ers responded with three unanswered goals, including a pair from Jeff Greenwood, to capture a 4-3 lead at the end of the first.

UCSB again tied the game at 4-4 when Castillo scored during a six-on-five advantage 38 seconds into the second quarter. The teams traded two goals apiece before Greenwood scored his third goal of the game on a backhand with 43 seconds left in the first half, giving the 49ers a 7-6 advantage heading into halftime.

Castillo posted his third six-on-five goal to tie the game at 7-7 just over a minute and a half into the third quarter. The Gauchos ended up outscoring the 49ers 3-2 during the quarter behind a pair of goals from Golic to tie the contest with six seconds left in the third.

Long Beach managed to gain a two-goal lead after Blythen notched back-to-back power play goals to open the fourth quarter. Golic and Miles Price helped the Gauchos once again tie the game with 4:17 to play at 11-11. Blythen then notched his third goal of the quarter on yet another man-up advantage to give Long Beach a 12-11 lead.

Trailing by one goal, the Gauchos called a timeout with 19 seconds to play. Coming out of the timeout, UCSB quickly drew a Long Beach ejection and with four seconds on the clock, a pass connected to Jesse Tootell, who shot a scored from the post tying the game and sending the teams into overtime periods.

Neither team scored in the first of the two three-minute overtime periods and the 49ers failed to convert the lone six-on-five opportunity of the period. The teams each earned an ejection at the beginning of the second overtime period, but neither was able to find the back of the net. With 42 seconds to go, UCSB drew a Long Beach ejection and 11 seconds later, Golic tallied his seventh goal of the game, capturing the 13-12 victory for UCSB.

Golic led all players with seven goals in the win, tying his career-high set on Oct. 5 at UC Irvine. Castillo’s hat trick in the game marked a season-high for the junior. Junior goalkeeper Michael Robinson tallied nine saves in the win.

For the 49ers, Blythen led the attack with four goals while Greenwood and Jake Kinne each had three. Goalie Derek Wiebe-Bailey tallied 12 saves.

UCSB hosts No. 2 Stanford in a MPSF match-up at noon Sunday at Campus Pool. Admission is free.

Lisa Skvarla is UCSB‘s assistant media relations director.

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