LA VERNE, Calif. – The No. 7 UC Santa Barbara men's water polo team closed out a perfect 4-0 weekend at the Inland Empire Classic on Sunday, defeating La Verne, 29-4, and Concordia, 18-5.
The Gauchos (7-1) were led once again by last week's GCC Player of the Week Boris Jovanovic, who capped an unstoppable weekend with five goals against the Leopards (2-5) and six more against the Eagles (3-6). The senior driver finished with 16 total goals at the IE Classic and has totaled 25 over the Gauchos' first eight contests this year
UCSB vs. La Verne
It didn't take long for Santa Barbara to grasp control in its first game of the day, as a pair of goals from junior Ivan Gvozdanovic less than two minutes in spearheaded a quick run out of the gates for the Gauchos. Goals from Jack Bignell, Jacob Halle and Cole Brosnan followed, giving UCSB a 5-0 lead with 4:27 to go in the opening period.
That would be the first of three quarters that UCSB tallied eight goals, repeating its offensive dominance in the second and fourth frames. Jovanovic put away two in the second and three in the fourth. He also had two assists and four steals.
The sophomore Brosnan backed up Jovanovic with four goals of his own, while Gvozdanovic secured a hat trick along with four assists. A total of 15 Gauchos got on the scoresheet, setting a season-high. Redshirt sophomore Quinn Stoneman also added three assists.
Defensively, Freshman goalkeeper Ben Miller tallied three saves and a pair of assists.
UCSB vs. Concordia
Facing the Leopards in the final game of the weekend, the Gauchos would register a meager 18 goals. Jovanovic paced UCSB with a season-high six goals, single-handedly outscoring Concordia which had five. It was the fourth time in eight games this season that UCSB scored 18 or more times.
Jovanovic did much of his work early on, putting away four goals before the end of the first quarter. The Gauchos took a 6-1 lead into the second and a 10-2 advantage into the halftime break.
Leo Yuno made his mark early in the second half, scoring two of his three goals for the game in the third. Yuno also had two assists on the day, as he helped give his team a 15-5 lead heading into the final frame. In a relatively quiet fourth quarter, freshman Nathan Puentes would get on the scoresheet by scoring the final two goals of the game.
Nangle finished with two goals as well, while Gvozdanovic and sophomore Mason McQuet helped defensively with three steals each.
Three different Gaucho goalkeepers registered a save, with sophomore Connor Macdonald leading the way with three. Sophomore Tiago Bonchristiano had two saves, while Miller had one to go along with a pair of assists for the second straight game.
UCSB will be back in action this coming Thursday, Sept. 13 for its home season-openers against No. 12 UC San Diego (12:00 p.m.) and No. 1 UCLA (7:00 p.m.).