SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Sophomore Collin Smith scored with 3:02 left in the match to break a 7-7 tie and give No. 3 California a crucial 8-7 MPSF road win Saturday at No. 5 UC Santa Barbara. The Golden Bears, also led by two goals apiece from seniors Ivan Rackov and Zach Greenwood, improved to 17-3 overall and 5-1 in league play.
Cal exploded for five goals in the second period on a pair of Rackov goals and solo scores from Greenwood and brothers Luka and Aleksa Saponjic to take a 6-3 advantage. However, UCSB battled back and sophomore Matt Gronow was able to tie the match at 7-7 with a little more than five minutes left in the game, before Smith secured the victory for the Bears.
Junior goalie Justin Parsons finished with eight saves and senior Cory Nasoff had the other score for Cal with a goal in the third period.
UC Santa Barbara got goals from seven different players as Teddy Zhang, Derek Shoemaker, Jesse Gillespie, Liam Gaughan, Brian Shoemaker, Matt Johnson, and Granow all tallied goals for the Gauchos.
Junior Myles Christian had a standout game in goal for UCSB with nine saves. Christian came out of the net several times to battle with Cal players for position and made several point-blank saves.
“Overall it was a good defensive effort because Santa Barbara is a tough place to play,” Cal coach Kirk Everist said. “The shallow end of the pool is not something you can prepare very well for. We played very good five-man defense which was the difference in the game.”
No. 2 USC 14, No. 9 Pepperdine 8
No. 2 USC 17, Champan 6
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. — In another double-header Saturday, second-ranked USC gathered in two more wins to extend its winning streak to eight games with Saturday’s 14-8 victory against Pepperdine and 17-6 win versus Chapman at McDonald’s Swim Stadium. Sophomore Nikola Vavic tacked up eight goals across the two games, as USC improved to 17-2 overall with the wins, and goes to 6-0 in MPSF play with the victory against the Waves.
The Trojans rolled out to a 6-0 lead on the Waves thanks in large part to a first-half hat trick from Tobias Preuss, who scored three consecutive goals across the first and second frames. The 6-0 run by the Trojans was capped off by a Preuss steal and assist to Michael Rosenthal, who was off on the counterattack for a spin and score at 5:29 in the second. Pepperdine would stop the run on its next possession, but a 6-on-5 blast from Vavic and a wheeling strike from Jeremy Davie out of a set play carried the Trojans to an 8-1 halftime advantage.
The Waves were able to get to the back of the net with more precision in the second half, but were still well out of reach of the Trojans, who spread the scoring among five players in the second half to balance out seven goals from the Waves and finish up with a 14-8 victory.
The Trojans transitioned into their second game of the day as Chapman hit the water next. Warmed up from his hat trick against the Waves, Vavic rattled in four goals in the first half of play against the Panthers, and would tally the last of the day to make it five for the sophomore in the match and eight on the day as USC pinned up a 17-6 win.
Chapman had made it close in the first as USC held a slim 3-2 lead after one period of play, but the Trojans would make an eight-goal run from there as Andrew Reego, Andy Hayes, Ivan Kustic and Stephen Siri joined in on Vavic’s strikes to push USC ahead 11-2. Will Simon and Clark Barry combined forces in the cage, each pulling in five saves each.
No. 4 Stanford 11, No. 7 Long Beach State 3
LONG BEACH, Calif. — Fourth-ranked Stanford bounced back from last weekend’s defeat at USC by routing No. 7 Long Beach State 11-3 on Saturday afternoon. The win improves Stanford’s overall record to 15-4 and its MPSF mark to 4-2.
Alex Bowen netted a hat trick to pace the Cardinal offense on Saturday. Paul Rudolph, Peter Sefton and Forrest Watkins each scored twice and single goals were added by Travis Noll and Jacob Smith.
Defensively, goalie Brian Pingree made five saves as the Cardinal limited the 49ers to just three goals. The three-goal output by Long Beach State is a season-low for an MPSF opponent against the Stanford defense, which is ranked second in the conference.
That defense kept the 49ers off the board for the first 8:35 of the contest. By that time, Stanford held a 3-0 lead thanks to first-period goals from Watkins and Noll, and a goal from Smith just 19 seconds into the second frame.
The 49ers would get to within a goal with 2:47 to go in the half after Dan Matulis found the back of the cage, but Rudolph answered 19 seconds later and the Cardinal led 4-2 at the break.
Milos Vrzic’s goal 44 seconds into the second half pulled Long Beach State to within a goal once again, but at that point the Cardinal defense dug in, not conceding the rest of the contest. Pingree and the Stanford defense kept the 49ers out of the cage for the remaining 15:16 of the contest.
On the other end, Stanford’s offense stepped it up, ending the game with a 7-0 run. That run started with Bowen scoring with 5:52 remaining in the third period. Sefton would find the back of the cage followed by Bowen’s second with under a minute in the frame to put the Cardinal in control at 7-3.
Goals from Rudolph and Watkins sealed the contest by the middle of the fourth period, leaving Bowen and Sefton to finish off the scoring over the final 1:22.