Gauchos Shut Down SJSU, Win 14-6 in GCC Opener

Tiago Bonchristiano (Photo by Eric Isaacs)
Tiago Bonchristiano (Photo by Eric Isaacs)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – No. 5 UC Santa Barbara set the tone early in a 14-6 win over No. 16 San Jose State Friday evening at Campus Pool.

Yet another Boris Jovanovic hat trick powered the Gauchos (13-5, 1-0) to their fifth win over a ranked opponent this season. UCSB is now 2-1 in GCC openers, having opened up conference play against the Spartans in each of the past three years.

Cole Brosnan, Jacob Halle and Ivan Gvozdanovic all finished with two goals apiece, while five other Gauchos tallied a single goal.

Defensively, junior goalkeeper Tiago Bonchristiano (9-4) was stellar once again, racking up nine saves as he held SJSU's offense in check before departing midway through the third quarter. The Spartans ended the first half with just two goals, compared to seven for UCSB.

The Gauchos jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the early-going, as Jovanovic struck first less than two minutes in. Leo Yuno and Jacob Halle would follow up with goals over the next four minutes. After the Spartans found the scoresheet for the first time at the 2:30 mark of the first, Jovanovic added his second of the period with just four ticks on the clock, making it 4-1.

The Spartans would strike first in the second period, but the Gauchos would end the quarter strong, scoring three unanswered over the final four minutes to head into halftime leading 7-2.

Jovanovic would open the second half scoring with 5:24 left in the third, converting a penalty after back-to-back exclusions on San Jose State's goalkeeper. Spencer Wood would put UCSB up 9-2 with a goal one minute later. Wood then assisted on a Blake Spiller goal with 2:46 left to give the Gauchos their largest lead of the day at 10-2.

In the final frame, UCSB would refuse to let up, outscoring the Spartans 4-2 with goals coming from Brosnan, Halle, Gvozdanovic and Mason McQuet. The Gauchos owned a 34-29 advantage in shots and were 3-for-13 on power plays, compared to just 1-of-11 for the Spartans.

Santa Barbara will resume GCC play on Oct. 20 against No. 6 Pacific, a team the Gauchos already defeated 13-11 back on Sept. 15. Prior to that though, UCSB will travel north to Stanford for the MPSF Invite next weekend.