After dominating in their last tournament, the Long Beach State men’s water polo team found themselves with tougher competition last weekend at the Aggie Roundup in No. 5 Pacific and No. 2 USC.
LBSU (7-3) took down tournament host No. 9 UC Davis 10-8 in a thrilling overtime win Saturday. The game was tied 3-3 at halftime, but LBSU and UC Davis came out of the half firing with a combined 12 goals. Senior utility man Jacob Fujioka netted a game-high three goals for the 49ers, who defeated the Aggies for the second time this season.
On paper, the Long Beach State men’s water polo team came out of the Aggie Roundup Tournament as expected, with two wins over opponents they were ranked higher than and two losses to opponents of higher ranking.
After the hard-fought overtime win, the 49ers were faced with another big challenge in the Pacific Tigers, a Golden Coast Conference rival.
LBSU battled with the Tigers and the game was tied 4-4 after the first quarter, but Pacific pulled away with a 11-7 win. Senior center Lee Griffin led the way with two goals in the game. The 49ers will take on Pacific one more time this season in the home opener on Sept. 30 at 7 p.m.
On Sunday, No. 6 LBSU split its two games against Whittier and No. 2 USC. In the first game of the day, the 49ers flexed their offensive capabilities and scored 20 goals in a 20-5 win over Whittier. Sophomore attacker Nemanja Bakic paved the way for the 49ers, who had 11 players score. Also, freshman goalie Marwan Darwish got his second start of the season.
The final game of the tournament ended in a 13-5 loss to the No. 2 ranked USC Trojans. The 49ers battled in the first quarter, trailing 3-2 but couldn’t keep up the fight in the final three quarters. Bakic and senior center Duncan Lynde scored four out of the team’s five goals.
Up next for the 49ers is the Mountain Pacific Invitational this weekend hosted by USC and LMU. The tournament features 16 teams and the 49ers will begin tournament play Friday against No. 12 Princeton at USC.