MWP: Gauchos beat LMU, fall to third-ranked USC

STOCKTON — No. 7 UCSB split two games Saturday at the Kap7 Nor Cal Tournament. The Gauchos defeated No. 12 Loyola Marymount, 12-9, and fell to undefeated No. 3 USC, 12-7.

UCSB will face off against tournament host, No. 6 Pacific, Sunday at 9:20 a.m.

Santa Barbara got off to a fast start in its match against LMU. Junior Nicholas Jordan opened the scoring with a 4:50 goal. Senior, Eric Van de Mortel and junior, Cameron Yates scored a goal apiece in the opening period to give UCSB the early 3-1 lead.

The Lions fought back in the second period with an early 6-on-5 goal to pull within one score. Juniors, Ryan Baliani and Bryan Snyder answered back with back to back goals to provide the Gauchos with 5-2 lead with four minutes left in the first half. With two late goals from LMU, the Gauchos held a slim 5-4 lead at the half.

The Gauchos surged back in the third period; outscoring the Lions 5-2 in the quarter. Junior, Chase Racich tallied an early score to make the lead, 6-4. After LMU pulled within one, the Gauchos went on an impressive run with three unanswered goals. Racich and Jordan scored their second goals of the match while fellow junior Samer Alkateb scored to give Santa Barbara the 9-5 lead. Van de Mortel finished off the quarter with a last second goal to give UCSB a comfortable 10-6 advantage.

In its second match of the day, USC shut down the Gauchos offense in the opening period as the Trojans claimed a 2-0 lead after one quarter.

Falling behind 3-0 to the Trojans, the Gauchos finally got on the board with a 6-on-5 goal from freshman, Shane Hauschild. The freshman attacker was not done as he scored his second goal of the period, making the Trojan lead to 4-2. After another goal from USC, senior Brendan McElroy netted his fifth goal of the season on another man-up situation for UCSB.

Trailing 6-3 in the early moments of the third quarter, Santa Barbara showed resiliency with two straight scores from Racich and Baliani. Southern California answered with three goals in the remaining two-and-a-half minutes of the third period.

Holding a 9-6 lead, USC played a solid final period, holding the Gauchos to only one goal.

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