Water Polo’s Double Defeat

UC Irvine’s men’s water polo team lost to Long Beach State University 9-6 in a home Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) game on Thursday, Oct. 24.  Seniors Mitch Wise and Bojan Hrtec each scored two goals during the match. With four seconds left in the first period, Wise scored against the 49ers, giving the Anteaters their 3-2 lead.

Chris Lee | Photography Intern

Chris Lee | Photography Intern

The ’Eaters were able to keep their lead by halftime. They wrapped up the second quarter with a score of 5-2 as Wise scored with 42 seconds left on the clock. UCI fell during the third quarter as Long Beach led 7-5, ’Eaters finishing the quarter without scoring any goals.  Anteater junior Jacob Mourer scored during the final quarter, as CSULB’s Carter Taylor closed the match by scoring with 38 seconds on the clock, ending the game 9-6.

“I think Long Beach did a good job at maintaining consistency. I don’t think they threw something different at us. Our response to pressure moments was terrible,”  Coach Marc Hunt said.

“We had an opportunity and we clearly did not take advantage of it. The upside is [the] small pieces we see defensively that we like. Some of the things we worked on defensively, we did see some success with. Really what it came down to was we scored five goals in the first half and one goal in the second half, so offensively I guess we fell flat on our face. I like the moments, but the consistency is something we’re still trying to achieve.”

“The hardest part [about the game] is just coming back from two goals deficit in the fourth quarter,”  Jacob Mourer said.

“[For tomorrow we], plan on playing better defense, tighter defense; we need to not drop as much, press more and just be tougher.”

The next day, UCI hosted UCLA in a MPSF game at the Anteater Aquatic complex. No. 2 ranked UCLA defeated No.8 UCI 18-5. Freshman Kyle Trush led the Anteaters with two goals as Jacob Mourer scored with just over five minutes left on the clock for the first quarter. The Bruins led 10-3 by halftime and wrapped up the match 18-5, leaving UCI with their second loss of the week.

“Relatively speaking, this is a new team. We’re looking at a starting line-up that’s a couple freshmen, couple sophomores, a junior and a senior. I know that this is a young team. What they need to see is these pressure moments a lot more and right now, [they] really haven’t,”  Coach Hunt said.

“Every conference game is an option to get into the conference tournament. What’s really creating the pressure is that it’s a conference game,” he continued.

UC Irvine’s men’s water polo team will travel to Santa Barbara on Nov. 2 for a MPSF game against UC Santa Barbara.