MWP: Gauchos finish KAP7 tourney with 2 close wins

STOCKTON — UCSB pulled out two dramatic wins over Pacific and Long Beach State to earn a fifth-place finish at the KAP7 Nor Cal men’s water polo tournament on Sunday.

The Gauchos rallied from a 4-1 deficit and beat Pacific 9-7 and got a penalty-shot goal from Bryan Snyder in sudden-death overtime to edge Long Beach State, 14-13.

UCSB got three unanswered goals from juniors Kevin Cappon, Snyder, and Samer Alkateb to tie Pacific 4-4.

The Gauchos continued to strike in the third quarter. After a score from Pacific’s Sean Grady, UCSB went on another three-goal run to secure its first lead of the match. Van de Mortel once again got the Gaucho run going with his 3:12 score. With goals from Mark Garner and Ryan Baliani, UCSB netted two goals in the last minute and forty seconds to claim a 7-5 lead.

The home team showed resistance, scoring a much needed 7:38 goal to pull within one of the Gaucho lead. A 5:28 goal from junior, Chase Racich stretched the lead to 8-6, but the Tigers once again answered back in the late moments of the match. Holding onto a single goal lead with three minutes remaining, Santa Barbara got a game clinching goal from Van de Mortel to record the 9-7 victory over the Tigers.

Against Long Beach State, Shane Hauschild scored two straight goals in the third period to break a 5-5 tie and give the Gauchos a 7-5 lead.

The score went back and forth in the fourth period was tied at 11-11 at end of regulation time.

Hauschild got the Gauchos going in the overtime period with a 2:34 score. With its own man-up situation, the Long Beach capitalized to once again tie the match. Another goal from junior, Nicholas Jordan gave the Gauchos the road to victory until a costly five-meter exclusion penalty was called against the Blue and Gold. With :20 seconds remaining, Long Beach St. successfully scored its five meter shot to force the match into sudden death.

UCSB was returned the favor in the sudden death period after the 49ers committed a five meter penalty to give the Gauchos a penalty shot. Snyder blasted his shot through for the game winner.

Hauschild and Van de Mortel led Santa Barbara’s offense as the duo scored eight out of the 23 goals. Goalie Chris Whitelegge recorded a total of 22 saves in the two matches.

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