Long Beach’s NCAA quarterfinal loss shows team is on the right track

The Long Beach State men’s water polo team suffered a 14-9 loss to UC San Diego Nov. 29 that booted it out of the team’s first NCAA tournament appearance since 1991. The 49ers battled hard in the first half, but couldn’t complete the upset down the stretch, ending their seven-game win streak. “We weren’t able to do what we usually do, which is why they took a big lead,” redshirt junior attacker Austin Stewart said via LBSU Athletics. “I’m expecting to go further next year, we’re getting a lot of good recruits and they have a lot of experience playing in their countries.” Despite the loss, it was the best overall season for the team in years, with head coach Gavin Arroyo winning the Golden Coast Conference Coach of the Year award, but how will the team add on to this next season? Six key players will be returning including freshman utility Garrett Zaan, who showed the most improvement near the end of the season, Stewart who led the team in goals with 56 and sophomore goalie Marwan Darwish who was the GCC tournament Most Valuable Player. Long Beach (14-12, 3-2 GCC) suffered losses early on against higher ranked teams,

By | 2018-12-03T18:24:22-07:00 Dec 3, 2018 | 6:24 pm|Categories: Men's Sports, Men's Water Polo, Sports, Today|Tags: , , , , , |

Long Beach enters second round NCAA tournament matchup on seven-game win streak

After an opening round victory against Pomona-Pitzer Saturday, the Long Beach State men’s water polo team will play in the NCAA quarterfinals for the first time since 1991. LBSU will play 1 p.m. Thursday against UC San Diego at Stanford University. Both teams enter on a seven-game winning streak and will play for a a semifinal date with the Cardinal Saturday. “I’m expecting a high-level game; I’m expecting a close game, so a lot of it is gonna come down to details and execution,” head coach Gavin Arroyo said. There is no numerical seeding for the tournament, but the Tritons earned a bye heading into the quarterfinals. UC San Diego edged the 49ers 7-5 on September 19. “I think we need some payback from the earlier game we lost down in San Diego. That was a hard game to lose but that’s good because now we know how they play and how we play against them,” senior defender Keegan Wicken said. Long Beach State is 1-0 in elimination games against teams that defeated it earlier in the year. Freshmen have been leading the 49er offense this postseason. Utility Garrett Zaan, who has played for the US Youth National team, has

By | 2018-11-28T23:22:12-07:00 Nov 28, 2018 | 11:19 pm|Categories: Men's Sports, Men's Water Polo, Sports|

Long Beach State advances to NCAA quarterfinals

Freshman utility Garrett Zaan waited patiently in the center as the 49ers worked the ball around the perimeter on the powerplay. After three one-touch passes he rose from the water, received the ball at the top of his drive, and flung it into the net for his fourth goal of the game. No. 6 Long Beach defeated Pomona-Pitzer Saturday 12-5 advancing to the quarterfinals against UCSD next weekend at Stanford University. The 49ers were overwhelmed early in the game as they allowed two goals early in the first. However, they then scored three unanswered, escaping the quarter with a 3-2 lead. “It’s almost better that that happens early, it was a wake up call,” head coach Gavin Arroyo said. Arroyo vocally stressed a press defense against the Sagehens. The tactic risks fouls, and an early penalty shot gave Pomona-Pitzer a 1-0 lead. “Your team gets engaged when they’re pressing a little bit more,” Arroyo said. “Sometimes it’s not just a defensive tool, it’s to get back on track.” Zaan made an incredible spinning shot from the attacking left side to give Long Beach a 4-2 lead early in the second. He added a powerplay goal minutes later to make it

By | 2018-11-25T18:33:05-07:00 Nov 24, 2018 | 10:27 pm|Categories: Men's Sports, Men's Water Polo, Sports, Today|

Long Beach strikes conference gold

As Long Beach junior attacker Austin Stewart finished his follow through on a spin-shot goal midway through the fourth quarter of the conference final against Pacific he and the student section fist-pumped in unison, celebrating the 8-6 lead. Long Beach went on to win the conference title 10-6. “I drove across and I saw he was just kinda sleeping so I slipped inside and it was on my back and I thought ‘there’s no damn way i’m gonna fucking miss this,” Stewart said. After the match Stewart, freshman center Theodoros Pateros and sophomore goalie Marwan Darwish were named to the the All-tournament team. Darwish was named tournament MVP. “They really played with composure. We’ve been talking a lot about not having to be perfect; it’s the first finals for a lot of these guys and we just tried to stay calm and composed throughout the process,” head coach Gavin Arroyo said. The first quarter saw a flurry of offense with six goals. Darwish came up huge with a right arm save on a Pacific breakaway with 3:00 to play in the first. The 49ers counterattacked off the rebound and junior center Jonathan Wong scored from point blank range to give

By | 2018-11-19T13:30:58-07:00 Nov 18, 2018 | 9:24 pm|Categories: Men's Sports, Men's Water Polo, Sports, Today|Tags: , , , |

No. 3 Long Beach upsets No. 2 Pepperdine in semifinals

Sports often serves as a unifying distraction from tragedy, a characteristic that was exemplified Saturday in a highly engaging Golden Coast Conference semifinal match between No. 3 seeded Long Beach State and No. 2 seeded Pepperdine, a campus still shrouded in smoke from the Woolsey Fire. Long Beach won the contest 5-4 in front of a loud and energetic crowd at Ken Lindgren Aquatics Center. “They’ve been through a lot this week and I think it’s hard for anybody to try to play water polo or any sport with that stuff going on,” head Coach Gavin Arroyo said. Both goalies made several great saves throughout the first quarter, which ended in a scoreless tie. “We had a lot of really good preparation especially on the defense and I think the fact that it was a low scoring game shows that,” sophomore goalie Marwan Darwish said. As the noise from both benches increased in a tie game, senior defender Keegan Wicken found himself in the high-center and thought about a long range shot. He pump faked, then fired under the right arm of the keeper to give the 49ers a 2-1 lead 2 minutes from halftime. “I think they were phenomenal,

By | 2018-11-17T23:25:49-07:00 Nov 17, 2018 | 11:25 pm|Categories: Men's Sports, Men's Water Polo, Sports, Today|Tags: , , , , |

Long Beach hosts Conference Tournament, faces previous host Pepperdine

Long Beach State (11-11, 3-2) heads into the Golden Coast Conference tournament Friday as the No. 3 seed out of five teams. Due to the tragic wildfires in Ventura county, No. 2 Pepperdine will no longer host, and Ken Lindgren Aquatics Center will serve as the venue for the tournament. “We’re happy we get a chance to host. In our minds we were always up at Pepperdine so it’s also a change for us, it just all depends on how we handle it,” head coach Gavin Arroyo said. The change in schedule means that the 49er seniors could potentially win a conference championship in the final home game of their career. “It’s good that we’ve been playing at home the last few games, so maybe some of those home nerves are absolved,” Arroyo said. With their seeding, both LBSU and Pepperdine receive automatic bids to the semifinals and play each other at 11 a.m. Saturday. The tournament begins Friday with a match between No. 4 UC Irvine and No. 5 San Jose State. The winner plays No. 1 Pacific in the second semi final Saturday. “Right now we’re just focusing on Pepperdine,” Arroyo said. LBSU is 0-1 against Pepperdine this

By | 2018-11-14T23:02:40-07:00 Nov 14, 2018 | 11:02 pm|Categories: Men's Sports, Men's Water Polo, Sports, Today|

No. 6 Long Beach edges No. 11 UC Irvine for fourth straight win

The chattering crowd slowly fell silent as redshirt junior attacker Austin Stewart prepared to take a penalty shot in the third quarter of a tie game. His shot into the right side of the net brought a roar from the bleachers and a 7-6 lead to No. 6 Long Beach (11-11, 3-2 GCC). The 49ers went  on to a 8-7 win against No. 11 UC Irvine. The win Friday came on senior night at the Ken Lindgren Aquatics Center. “We have seven different seniors and this group is pretty special,” head coach Gavin Arroyo said. The 49ers took an early 2-1 lead on a goal by defender Austin Stevenson, but UCI scored on its next possession each time Long Beach took the lead in the first quarter. Early in the second quarter, freshman utility Garrett Zaan scored from the attacking left side to tie the game and extend his goal scoring streak to 11 games. “I feel like my teammates have been giving me the ball a lot more and letting me do what I need to do to help this team win,” Zaan said. Both teams played a physical game, but the Anteaters looked especially intent to knock the

By | 2018-11-10T13:17:18-07:00 Nov 10, 2018 | 1:17 pm|Categories: Men's Sports, Men's Water Polo, Sports, Today|Tags: , , , , |

No. 8 Long Beach looks to end its skid at UCSB

After a two-week drought, Long Beach State men's water polo will travel to UC Santa Barbara Friday in desperate search of a win. The 49ers have lost their last four games, putting them in a 7-10 hole. A victory Friday would be their first in two weeks and give the 49ers a 1-1 conference record. No. 8 Long Beach features an unbalanced offense manifested in redshirt junior attacker Austin Stewart. His 37 goals are twice as many as the next-highest scoring 49er. The Upland native leads the team in goals, assists and points. Stewart’s 37 goals are followed by three players who each have 18. Two of them, senior attacker Chandler Kaltenbach and junior center Johnathan Wong, own a shooting percentage above .800. Spreading the offensive attack could be a key to victory against No. 5 UCSB.  (16-8, 1-1 GCC) While the 49ers have one player with more than 20 goals, the Gauchos have four. UCSB is not shy attacking the net and will barrage Long Beach with a high shot volume. A key for LBSU will be stopping UCSB senior driver Boris Jovanovic, who has a whopping 63 goals on the year. Jovanovic is a pure scorer, with only

By | 2018-10-24T00:06:41-07:00 Oct 23, 2018 | 11:59 pm|Categories: Men's Sports, Men's Water Polo, Sports, Today|Tags: , , , , |
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