On Wednesday, Oct. 15, in the first of three games last week, the ninth-ranked UC Irvine water polo team beat the Cal Baptist Lancers 11-9. The Anteaters played well individually, with Greg Enloe and Brandon Johnson each scoring four goals to help the ‘Eaters win.
In the first period, the team’s only senior, Jesse Hatch, scored the first goal of the game. Sam Figueroa scored shortly after Hatch, ending the first period with UCI trailing by one, with a score of 3-2.
The second period was all about New University “Athlete of the Week” junior Greg Enloe. Enloe was the only player to score in the second period, while the Lancers scored once, tying up the score at halftime 4-4.
The ‘Eaters returned to the pool after halftime looking aggressive, motivated and ready to win. UCI scored five goals in the third period, three by Johnson and two by Enloe. The Lancers scored two goals in the third period, giving the Anteaters a good lead going into the final period of the game.
Johnson scored his fourth goal of the game in the fourth period while the Lancers scored three goals, leaving the fans nervously awaiting the game’s end. With 45 seconds on the clock, Thomas Kruip scored the final goal for UCI, ending the game.
Coach Mark Hunt was pleased with the team’s win, but was unhappy with the team’s performance.
“There were no strengths to comment on tonight,” Hunt said. “We don’t play very well as a team; we are very young still and have yet to develop into a smart team.”
Johnson said the team started the game poorly but turned it around in the second half, including his four goals to help their comeback.
“As a team, our bench players did great. Since our starters were not playing well, they came in and did really well; they were underestimated,” Johnson said.
UCSB 13 UCI 12
Coach Hunt and the players were looking forward to their games against eight-ranked UC Santa Barbara this week, and it was definitely one to remember.
Unfortunately, the Anteaters came out on the losing side in a game that went to a sudden-death overtime at UCSB on Friday.
The Gauchos’ Daniel Natalizo scored the game-winning goal 2:33 into the third overtime period. After two overtimes, college games go to a sudden-death period.
The Gauchos seem to have the Anteaters’ number this season, as it was the third time they have defeated UCI in the past two weeks. They have won those three games by a combined goal total of four.
Despite the loss, the Anteaters got a solid performance from sophomore Griffin Lerman, who scored a career high five goals.
Max Parrague and Greg Enloe added two goals apiece for the ‘Eaters.
Sophomore goalie Matt Johnson had his hands full, but still came away with 14 saves, which was a career high.
The Anteaters play rival Long Beach State on Wednesday, Oct. 22 at Anteater Pool.
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