MWP: Gauchos fall short against USC

UCSB took powerful USC down to the wire before falling 6-5 in a MPSF men’s water polo game at Campus Pool on Sunday.

“We had a great game and created a lot of opportunities for ourselves, we just came up short,” said UCSB coach Wolf Wigo.

The Gauchos led 2-1 after successful 6-on-5 goals from Boris Jovanovic and Derek Shoemaker in the first quarter.

The second quarter featured two goals from USC to put them on top at the half. The Gauchos earned several ejections, but were unable to convert them to goals.

A penalty shot in the third quarter by Shane Hauschild tied the score, 3-3. With three minutes to go in the quarter a USC counterattack goal put the Trojans back on top going in to the fourth.

USC expanded its lead to 6-3 with a pair of goals early in the final period. But Jovanovic turned it around for UCSB with a goal at the two-minute mark, followed by a goal from Mitch Hamilton on a drive to close the gap to a one at 6-5.

With just 45 seconds to go in the game, the Gauchos had the ball with a 6-on-5 power play. But they were unable to convert and fell short.

UCSB goalie Chris Whitelegge recorded seven saves and two steals for the game.

Despite the narrow defeat, Wigo was pleased on his team battled against the Trojans.

“I’m glad we were able to rise to the occasion and play to the level of USC,” said Wigo.