The UC Santa Barbara Men’s Water Polo team got their 2023 season underway from UC San Diego’s Triton Invitational on Saturday, taking on No. 3 UCLA and Concordia Irvine. 

The Gauchos (1-1) pushed the Bruins (1-0) hard in the opening game and even led at halftime, but eventually fell, 12-8. 

Against Concordia (0-2), Santa Barbara took the lead early and held it, scoring six goals each in the second and third quarters to break things open and cruise to a 20-12 win. 

Dash McFarland led the attack for the Gauchos, scoring a team-high seven goals on the day.

“The team really played a strong, balanced and controlled game (against UCLA),” UCSB head coach Wigo said. “I was very proud of the composure and saw a lot of positives in the match. We were up 8-6 midway through the third quarter and missed a few key opportunities that hurt us in the fourth quarter. 

“Against Concordia, we gave up a few more goals than I would have liked but we were in control the whole way and got some great experience for everyone on the travel roster.”


UC Santa Barbara and UCLA’s season-opening top-ten clash certainly lived up to its billing, especially in the first half, with neither team able to break away from the other. 

The Gauchos threw the first two punches, with Logan Sutter and McFarland finding the cage early in the first quarter, but the Bruins punched back with three straight goals. 

James Oriskovich tied it back up before the first frame was over. Oriskovich keyed a scoring run in the second quarter too, with himself, Sutter and Mason Chambliss scoring in the final five minutes of the half to put Santa Barbara up by one. 

Goals from Luke Redoutey and Sam McKenzie stretched the advantage to two midways through the third quarter, but then the Bruins rattled off six unanswered goals to come back and take the match.

UCSB 20, Concordia 12

While Concordia scored first in the afternoon game, they did not hold their lead for long. 

McFarland fired home the first of his six goals in the game to level it, then Finn Genc put the Gauchos in front with his first collegiate goal. 

They would not trail for the remainder of the game. 

Twelve different Gauchos found the back of the cage, with Nathan Darby and Ryan McManigal joining Genc as first-time scorers. 

McFarland’s six goals led all scorers, with Sutter, Darby and Henry Allen the other multi-goal scorers, each with two.

UC Santa Barbara rounds out the 2023 Triton Invitational on Sunday, September 3, taking on a pair of top-20 opponents. 

The Gauchos will face defending National Champions and preseason No. 1 California at 10:30 a.m. Sunday morning before finishing their weekend against No. 17 California Baptist at 2:30 p.m. Both games will be streamed on