UCSD Remains Undefeated in Second Conference Tournament
The UCSD Men’s Club Water Polo team traveled to Tuscon, Arizona for their second set of conference games last weekend and continued their dominant run. The Tritons went 4-0 on the weekend improving their conference record to 7-0 and their overall record to 14-0. The weekend was highlighted by an overtime, 9-8 victory against San Diego State. The Triton’s B Team, after a difficult first weekend of play, recorded their first win of the season against Cal-State Northridge.
In their first head-to-head since last year’s regional championship, UCSD and cross-town rival SDSU faced off in a likely preview of the conference championship match in two weeks. Sophomore Andrew Burda opened the scoring for the Tritons early in the first quarter, netting an outside shot on the power-play to put the Tritons up early 1-0. Later in the quarter, captains Jack Harper and Tobias Oliver teamed up for the second goal of the game with Oliver feeding Harper a cross-cage pass that Harper was able to put past Aztec goal-keeper Rockne O’Brien. SDSU, un-fazed by the early scoring, quickly composed themselves and began to take control of the game. Increasing the offensive pressure, SDSU put the Triton’s two-meter guards in early foul trouble and went up 6-3 in the third quarter. The Tritons stormed back, however, playing lock down defense, leveling the score at 6 before scoring the go-ahead goal with about 2 minutes remaining. But with about 50 seconds remaining, the Aztecs found themselves up on the counter attack and leveled the score at 7. Moments before regulation time ended, Triton goalkeeper Sachin Okuma collided with the goal post attempting to tip a lofty lob-shot out of the goal. The shot just missed its marked, but the collision injured Okuma’s mouth. After an inspection by referees, Okuma was cleared to continue playing.
In OT, the teams exchanged goals in the opening plays, knotting the score at 8, before sophomore Andrew Schade was able to sneak a quick shot under the arms of O’Brien to put the Tritons up 9-8. UCSD was then able to lock down State on defense to secure the victory. Despite the injury, Okuma was able to come up with multiple clutch blocks to hold the Aztec’s scoreless. With the win, as well as three easy victories later in the weekend, UCSD assured itself the top-seed at the regional championships in two weeks.
The UCSD B Team also enjoyed success, with a 12-6 win against Cal State Northridge. The game was highlighted by rookies Colton Krull and Frederick Zieber. Zieber, brand new to the sport a year ago, netted his first career goal, as did sophomore Krull.
The Tritons will play their next games Nov. 2-3 at the San Diego State Aquaplex in the Southwestern Regional Championships.