The UC Santa Barbara Gauchos men’s water polo team played in a trio of games on Saturday at the Schaal Aquatics Center in the 2018 Aggie Roundup, dropping their first match to No. 1 USC before defeating No. 5 Pacific and Fresno Pacific.
Senior driver Boris Jovanovic led the Gauchos with nine goals on the day.
UCSB vs USC
The Gauchos found themselves down in a 2-0 hole early, but a pair of Jovanovic goals in the span of three minutes levelled the scoreline with 2:35 to go in the first quarter.
With just over a minute to go, the Trojans went ahead on a goal from driver Zach D’sa and didn’t look back, outscoring UCSB 7-1 in the rest of the game to win the match 10-3.
Sophomore goalkeeper Connor Macdonald had eight saves, including five in the first quarter. Freshman goalkeeper Ben Miller added three saves in the second half.
Jovanovic scored the Gauchos’ third goal with 2:08 remaining in the third quarter.
UCSB vs Pacific
The Gauchos rallied back from a 6-5 halftime deficit to upset No. 5 Pacific in an overtime thriller, led by three-goal performances from Jovanovic, sophomore attacker Cole Brosnan, and junior utility Ivan Gvozdanovic.
Down 9-6, UCSB managed to score two goals in the last 34 seconds of the third period, including sophomore attacker Spencer Wood’s strike with just one second on the clock, to enter the final quarter tied at 9.
Jovanovic scored within the first minute of the fourth quarter and Brosnan tallied his third goal of the match four minutes later to put the Gauchos up 11-9, but a late comeback from Pacific meant UCSB would be headed to overtime for the first time this season.
Gvozdanovic picked up the go-ahead goal with 1:49 left in the first overtime period and sophomore attacker Leo Yuno added another with 1:29 left in the second period to secure the victory for the Gauchos, their first over the Tigers since November 2016.
UCSB vs Fresno Pacific
The Gauchos finished out the day with a 17-10 win over Fresno Pacific, thanks once again to a trio of goals from Jovanovic and the freshman duo of driver Nathan Puentes and attacker Tommy Hawkins.