Stanford shuts down Gauchos 8-6

Stanford's Sage Wright scored twice on Sunday against UCSB. (Vince Agapito Photos)

UCSB’s men’s water polo team dropped a defensive battle by the score of 8-6 to No. 4 Stanford Sunday afternoon at Campus Pool. The Gauchos struggled offensively throughout most of the game, and a fourth quarter comeback was stifled by an extremely solid Cardinal defense.

“We gave a couple cheap goals away at the end of the game,” said Gauchos head coach Wolf Wigo. “We slipped up a couple of places and it hurt to have a couple of penalties called against us.”

Stanford converted three five-meter penalty shots to UCSB’s zero.

“In a game where both defense were good, it’s frustrating to have easy goals handed to the other team,” Wigo continued. “That was disappointing, and it has to go both ways.”

UCSB’s defense was able to step up and overcome most of the calls, as the Gauchos didn’t concede any goals when Stanford was a man up.

“A positive was that they didn’t convert with the extra man, and that’s rare,” said UCSB’s Matt Gronow. “So we know our defense is really strong, and with good defense the attack will usually follow.”

The Gauchos started strong with a quick goal by scoring-leader Milos Golic, who notched his 35th on the season. After Stanford followed with two goals, UCSB’s Dylan Baliani evened it up with a goal of his own.

But that was the last time the Gauchos scored until third quarter.

Former local prep stars Sage Wright and Ian Gamble scored for the Cardinal. Wright, a starting senior, matched Jacob Smith for a team-high two goals.

In the third quarter, the Gauchos staged a comeback on goals by Gronow and Baliani, yet still found themselves down by two entering the fourth.

Stanford scored quickly to open the fourth, pushing the lead to 8-5, yet the Gauchos found some hope from Brian Shoemaker’s goal, who narrowed the gap back to two. UCSB had a few more offensive chances to tie up the score, but each possession was turned away by good goalkeeping by stalwart Cardinal defense and unlucky shots that rang off the post.

“We had our shots, but they bowed out,” said Gornow. “We just have to look to next week when we play Long Beach”

“It was the first game of the conference, so we really wanted to win the game, it was a good matchup for us,” said Wigo. “We have to learn from our mistakes and focus on the positives. We have to move forward to Long Beach next weekend, which is a must win for us.”

Next Saturday, the Gauchos will host No. 8 Long Beach State in a MPSF conference game as the look to regain ground in the standings.


Stanford  4  1   2   1  –  8

UCSB  2  0   3  1  –  6

Stanford Goals: Sage Wright 2, Jacob Smith 2, Ian Gamble, Paul Rudolph, Travis Noll.

UCSB Goals: Dylan Baliani 2, Brian Shoemaker, Matt Gronow, Evan Dellinger, Milos Golic.

Stanford Goalie Saves: Pingree 8

UCSB Goalie Saves: Bunn 4, Christian 5