UC Santa Barbara dropped a pair of games against top-10 teams on at the Mountain Pacific Invitational water polo tournament in Berkeley on Saturday.
The sixth-ranked Gauchos fell to No. 3 Cal, 15-8, and lost to No. 7 Long Beach State, 9-6.
Reed Cotterill led UCSB with two goals against Cal, while Ivan Gvozdanovic had two assists. Mitch Hamilton drew the most exclusions on the team with three.
The Gauchos led 5-3 in the second period before Cal erupted for three straight goals. UCSB battled back and tied the score a 6-6 and finished the first half even at 7-7.
The game remained close in the third period, with Cal holding a 9-8 lead. The Bears got hot in the fourth period and scored six unanswered goals to seal the win. Johnny Hooper led Cal with five goals.
Freshman Justyn Barrios of Santa Barbara High had a busy day in the cage for UCSB with nine saves and three steals.
Against Long Beach State, Nolan McConnell’s four-goal first half was too much for the Gauchos.
McConnell, a senior attacker, netted a hat trick in the first quarter alone, which led to the 49ers’ 4-2 lead by the end of the period.
On the Gauchos’ side of the score sheet, Jovanovic continued his strong play this weekend with his second two-goal performance. Samar Alkateb, Reed Cotterill, Ivan Gvozdanovic, and Shane Hauschild each added one goal.
Hauschild also added a pair of assists to match Mitch Hamilton for the team-high. In the drawn ejections column, Cotterill led the team with four, while Alkateb was behind him with three.
Goalkeepers Liam Lenihan and Justyn Barrios split time in the cage, finishing with four and five saves, respectively.