SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Alumni Weekend for the men's water polo team brought a wide spectrum of past and present players to today's match against the No. 4 Cal Bears. The Gauchos carried the momentum for three quarters, but relinquished control of the game in the fourth quarter, losing to Cal 12-8.
Senior goalkeeper Chris Whitelegge recorded an impressive nine saves against Cal, several of which in critical power play or other scoring opportunities. He has now become the 13th goalie in MPSF history to record over 700 career saves.
Boris Jovanovic, Shane Hauschild, and former Cal Bear Mitch Hamilton each tallied two goals for the game.
Hauschild stirred a rowdy crowd early on with a goal in the first Gaucho possession of the game. Cal would score a minute later, but Mitch Hamilton quickly returned with a goal. After drawing an ejection and setting up power play offense, Jovanovic threaded the needle on a tight angle from the right wing to put the Gauchos up 3-1.
A Cal goal out of set with a minute to go would set up a Gaucho lead at the end of the first quarter, 3-2.
Senior attacker Derek Shoemaker continued the Gaucho momentum with a goal in the first possession of the second quarter. A big block by Whitelegge on a Cal 6-on-5 would be the magic #700 save to put him in MPSF water polo history.
Liam Gaughn drew a penalty on a drive that set up a 5-meter shot from Hauschild, which he would make to give UCSB a three-point lead.
The next Cal goal would also be a 5-meter penalty shot. A breakaway and one-on-nobody shot from Cal would bring the score to 5-4, Gauchos, at the half.
Cal picked up some momentum at the start of the third quarter, scoring three unreturned goals. Reed Cotterill would break their streak three minutes in to the quarter with a turn inside to give him position to score over three defenders that were on him.
Jovanovic's next offensive drive would earn the Gauchos a power play offense, of which he scored a goal to bring the score to an even 7-7. Hamilton would go on to score again, but a late goal from Cal in the final two seconds of the quarter would bring the final score to 8-8 going in to the final quarter.
The Gauchos lost some steam in the final quarter, giving up four Cal goals to seal the game away, 12-8.
The UCSB men face off against No. 5 Pacific tomorrow, Oct. 4th at Campus Pool at 12:00 pm.