Freshman goalkeeper Justyn Barrios stopped eight shots and had a career-high three assists, helping the sixth-ranked UCSB men’s water polo defeat No. 10 Pepperdine, 15-7, in the seventh-place game at the Mountain Pacific Invitational in Berkeley on Sunday.
Barrios, a former Santa Barbara High standout, allowed only two goals in the final period, enabling the Gauchos to improve their record to 7-3.
Reed Cotterill played a huge role in the victory as he led UCSB in scoring with a hat trick, while also picking up a drawn ejection and an assist. Ivan Gvozdanovic made his presence known after racking up a goal, two assists, and a team-high three steals.
The Gaucho offense erupted in the third quarter and took control of the game after scoring four unanswered goals. Pepperdine managed to make a goal in the last two minutes, but the Gauchos put in one more goal with nine seconds left to pad their lead, ending the quarter 9-5.
Santa Barbara let the Waves score only two more goals while they widened the gap with another six goals.
The Gauchos will continue their season on the road next Saturday, Oct. 1, when they will return to Berkeley in a rematch with No. 3 Cal.