UCSB Tops No. 6 LBSU, Nearly Upsets No. 3 Cal

Boris Jovanovic (Photo by Eric Isaacs)
Boris Jovanovic (Photo by Eric Isaacs)

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Facing its first ranked opponents of 2018, No. 10 UC Santa Barbara defeated No. 6 Long Beach State, 11-10, before dropping its final game of the weekend to No. 3 Cal, 12-9.

Senior Boris Jovanovic exploded for six goals on the day, including four against the Bears. He ends the opening weekend of play with a team-high nine goals, helping lead his team to a 3-1 overall record and a 13-4 mark at the Triton Invitational since 2014.

UCSB vs. Long Beach State
The Gauchos began the day taking on the 49ers (3-1) in their first ranked matchup of the year. UCSB never trailed in the game, as sophomore Cole Brosnan's goal less than a minute in helped his side jump out to a 3-1 lead.

LBSU would cut the lead to a single goal on three occasions over the next two period. However, after a 49er goal in the opening minute of the second half cut the Gaucho lead to 5-4, UCSB got hot, scoring five of the next six goals before the end of the third quarter.

Junior Ivan Gvozdanovic's goal at the 5:41 mark of the fourth made it 11-7 in favor of the Gauchos. Long Beach kept things interesting, scoring the next three goals to make it a one-possession game, 11-10, with 1:14 remaining. From there, UCSB's defense stiffened up, keeping the game scoreless the rest of the way.

With the win, the Gauchos' got out to a perfect 3-0 start to the year. This marks the second time in three seasons that they have started 3-0 at the Triton Invitational.

Freshman Sam Nangle had two goals, scoring once in each half, while a handful of other Gauchos found the back of the net once.

UCSB vs. Cal

In their fourth and final game of the weekend, UCSB took on a Cal (4-0) side ranked third in the nation.

Keeping things close throughout the opening half, the Bears would gain some separation with a late goal in the second quarter, heading into the break up 6-4.

UCSB would start its run late in the third. After trading goals in the early-going of the second half, Brosnan and Gvozdanovic put away goals in the final two minutes to send the Gauchos into the final frame trailing by a slim 8-7. UCSB outscored Cal 3-2 for its best period of the game.

However, the fourth quarter would go the Bears' way, as they opened on a 4-1 run to take a commanding 12-8 advantage. Jovanovic would score in the final minutes to bring his goal total to four for the match, but UCSB suffered its first defeat of 2018, 12-9.

Brosnan finished with a brace, scoring both of his goals in the third quarter. Also finding the scoresheet were Leo Yuno and Chad Nelson, who both scored once in the first half.