Game close in beginning, Stanford pulls through in the end
LONG BEACH, Calif. -- A high-scoring start had Long Beach State tied with No. 4 Stanford after one quarter but the Cardinal pushed away in the end for an 11-8 win. The two middle quarters proved to be the difference as Stanford (17-4, 5-1 MPSF) outscored the 49ers (18-10, 1-5 MPSF) 5-2 during the second and third quarters.
The first quarter seemed to be setting up a high-scoring affair with the teams evenly splitting eight goals during the first eight minutes. Stanford scored first but senior Carter Taylor answered less than a minute later for the Beach with an advantage goal. Zacchary Kappos scored his first goal of the day on a penalty shot to give the Beach a 2-1 advantage.
Kappos led the Beach with four goals on the day while Nolan McConnell scored a pair. Pavo Ljepopio made seven of his 19 saves in the opening quarter for the Beach.
Bret Bonani scored for Stanford to even things up but McConnell struck for his first goal to put the Beach back out in front. The teams continued to trade goals as Kappos put the Beach up 4-3 with 31 seconds left in the quarter but Adam Abdulhamid struck just before the clock hit :00 for Stanford to even the score at 4-4.
The Cardinal went on to score three more goals in the second to jump out to a 7-4 lead. Kappos fired in his third goal with 1:36 left in the half to bring the beach back within two.
Both teams came up empty in the first three minutes of the third until McConnell converted on a penalty shot and the Beach found themselves down just 7-6. Stanford answered and scored again with four seconds left to push the lead back to 9-6.
A pair of early Stanford goals from BJ Churnside and Bonani seemingly put the game out of reach with an 11-6 Stanford advantage. The Beach struck twice in the final two and a half minutes but couldn’t overcome the five-goal deficit. Ricardo Guimares struck first before Kappos scored his fourth goal in the final seconds.
No. 1 Pacific 11, No. 6 UC Santa Barbara 9
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -- Pacific held off a late surge from No. 6 UC Santa Barbara on Sunday for an 11-9 win. Senior Goran Tomasevic led the Tigers with three goals.
Seniors Balazs Erdelyi and Kevin Oliveira, and sophomore Kristian Laczkovics each added two goals while redshirt sophomore Casey Fleming and freshman Ben Stevenson also tallied for the Tigers.
The Tigers improve to 18-3 overall, and 5-1 in MPSF action. Pacific is now 3-0 versus the Gauchos this season, with wins in the NorCal and SoCal tournaments. The Tigers are also 2-0 as the nation's top-ranked team, and 7-3 against the top six in the polls.