UCI Commits Cardinal Sin

David Conley/New University

Stanford 14, UCI 7

After a thrilling victory over Long Beach State, UC Irvine (14-10) failed to carry over the momentum as they fell to Stanford at home on Nov. 6. UCI is now 2-5 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation.

Junior Winston Newland had a hat trick, while juniors Mitch Wise and Brian Pickford, and seniors Max Parrague and Trent Baxter all had a goal apiece.

The Anteaters appeared to have the upper hand against Stanford as Newland scored two early goals  five minutes into the contest. The Cardinal responded with two goals, the first coming with 2:09 left in the clock and the second coming in the last nine seconds of the period.

Stanford got their first lead in the game after Jacob Smith scored at 7:21 left in the clock. Although Newland scored 30 seconds later to tie the game, UCI were frustrated by the Cardinal offense conceding three consecutive goals. Pickford was able to score with 52 seconds left in the game to bring UCI within two, but the Cardinal responded with a goal with 35 seconds left to finish the half.

Baxter opened up the scoring at the start of the second half to lower UCI’s deficit to 7-5. However, Stanford responded with a trio of goals to lead 10-5. The Anteaters managed to execute several good plays to score and stay within the game, but bad luck along with poor shots hindered them from doing so. UCI never came close to tying the game for the rest of the match.

“I got to hand it to Stanford, they are a strong team,” Hhead Ccoach Marc Hunt said. “I thought we had a good first half. I liked where we were at half time. I thought coming into the third quarter, we missed on a few executions. They capitalized and stretched [the score] to where our team didn’t feel they could shorten the gap at all.”

UCI 13, LBSU 12

UC Irvine’s men’s water polo team (14-9) outmaneuvered   conference rivals Long Beach State in a tight 13-12 victory Thursday night to improve their Mountain Pacific Sports Federation record to 2-4. Senior Trent Baxter led the Anteaters in scoring with a career-high six goals, while juniors Nick Pfeil and Brian Pickford contributed two goals apiece.

In the opening half, the two teams played to a 6-6 draw with UCI evening the contest before time ran out. However, at the start of the third period, UCI heated up. They went on a 3-0 run and took a  9-6 lead, thanks to a goal from Pickford, another from senior Max Parrague, and then Pickford struck once more. The ’49ers managed to cut the ’Eaters’ lead by two, taking advantage of a power play after freshman Bo De Lange’s exclusion.

The last minute of the third period grew heated as both teams managed to fire back and forth. UCI pushed their lead back up to three after Trent Baxter scored with 54 seconds left in the period. The Anteaters’ defense started to look lost as a ’49er found an opening  hurling another netter. The ’Eaters answered back with 22 seconds left on the clock to regain their three-point lead, but  Irvine allowed Long Beach to score again and narrow the margin to two.

Baxter opened up the scoring just 30 seconds into the final period. It was his sixth goal of the night. However, UCI’s offense grew weary and frustrated after Baxter’s goal. Long Beach was able to execute long, accurate passes and catch UCI off guard on defense. They seemed primed for a comeback, scoring two goals in the stretch. UCI was unable to respond, as they were unable to find clean shots at goal due to the ’49ers’ tight defense.

UCI found the net again with 4:23 left on the clock after a Long Beach player was excluded, pushing the lead to 13-11. 30 seconds later, Long Beach’s lead scorer, Aleksander Petrovic, bulleted a shot into the back of the net.

UCI frantically held onto a one-point lead for the remaining of the game. Long Beach failed to capitalize on a number of attempts that could have cost the Anteaters the game. Irvine’s head coach, Marc Hunt, called a timeout with 1:34 remaining to make some defensive adjustments, which paid off as UCI held on for the win.

“Clearly when you’re talking about a game that is this close with this many answering-back goals and lead changes, I want to attribute it to the fact that we got lucky,” coach Hunt said. “We made some adjustments in the second half and we followed up on those adjustments and we were able to have success off of it.”