LONG BEACH, Calif. – The eighth-ranked 49ers upset No. 4 Pepperdine 12-7 at the Campus Pool on Thursday. Nine players scored for the 49ers, while Balint Meszaros collected six saves to push his single-season saves total to 239 for sole possession of ninth all-time in school history.
With the win, Long Beach State becomes the third team in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation to reach 20 wins this season. It is the first time in 23 years that the 49ers have won 20 or more games.
The last time the 49ers (20-7, 2-4 MPSF) defeated an opponent by five goals during conference play was in 2001 against UC Santa Barbara 13-8.
Dan Matulis got the offense rolling for Long Beach State with a two-meter goal at 7:05. Matt Brown scored the Waves’ lone goal in the first period at 1:44, but Carter Taylor responded with a spot past the Pepperdine defense for a 3-1 lead.
Matulis pounded the ball in at 4:33 during the 6-on-5 advantage on a lob pass by Milos Vrzic to give LBSU the 4-2 lead. Meszaros denied a shot in the two-meter at the three minute mark for the 49ers, but Mike Tragitt responded on the next possession with a goal from the right side to put the Waves (11-9, 3-4 MPSF) within range trailing 4-3.
Spencer White broke free from the defense and turned to fire a rocket past Bence Valics to put LBSU up 6-3 heading into the half.
The Waves’ Colin Carroll put Pepperdine on the board first to start the second half, but Nick Rascon hurled a shot past Valics from six meters out in the third period making it 7-4.
Rascon’s goal started a 4-0 run for the 49ers that lasted for eight minutes. Marko Madaras ended the 49er run as he found the back of the cage at 6:14 in the fourth to make it 10-5.
Devin Mefford rebounded Brian Schiefer’s shot that hit the cross bar and scored on a back-handed shot at 2:06 to extend the 49er lead to 12-5.
Pepperdine tried to rally late in the fourth as Josh Tice and Nick Cooper scored on back-to-back possessions for the Waves, but it wasn’t enough as Long Beach State held on for the 12-7 victory.