Jovanovic Goals, Late Surge Not Enough as Gauchos Fall at Cal 13-12

Boris Jovanovic (Photo by Jeff Liang)
Boris Jovanovic (Photo by Jeff Liang)

BERKELEY, Calif. - Playing against No. 4 Cal for the third time, the No. 5 UC Santa Barbara men's water polo team battled the Golden Bears to their closest margin all year, but came up just short, 13-12.

Novi Sad, Serbia natives Boris Jovanovic and Ivan Gvozdanovic combined for eight of the Gauchos' 12 goals, with the former tying for game-high honors with five goals.

Also scoring for Santa Barbara with one goal each were Cole Brosnan, Mason McQuet, Adam Lott and Tommy Hawkins.

First quarter goals from Brosnan and Gvozdanovic helped give UCSB an early 2-1 advantage. A strong end to the quarter would see the Bears reel off three unanswered to head into the second period leading 4-2.

The Gauchos would have their hottest offensive stretch in the second, scoring four goals and tying the game twice before heading into halftime trailing 7-6.

UCSB would again tie things at 8-8 with a Jovanovic goal late in the third quarter, but Cal would embark on a 5-2 run, taking their largest lead of the second half at 13-10 with 3:42 remaining.

Santa Barbara refused to let up, inching closer with Gvozdanovic's third goal of the day at the 2:08 mark to make it 13-11 in favor of the Bears. Brosnan would score his lone goal with just 33 seconds on the clock, bringing UCSB within one, but that proved to be the final score of the day.

The Gauchos return home on Friday, Oct. 26 for their next game at 3:00 p.m. against No. 8 Long Beach State.