Going into Thursday night’s game against No.1 USC, the No. 7 Long Beach State men’s water polo team couldn’t have imagined the upset they nearly pulled off at the Uytengsu Aquatics Center in Los Angeles.
The 49ers came out of halftime firing on all cylinders against USC. LBSU never held a lead in the game, but were quick to respond to USC goals scored throughout the second half. With 4:19 left to play in the game, the 49ers trailed 8-5, but a resilient comeback led by goals from Wicken and senior utility Mitchell Holden to close out the fourth quarter got them back in it.
Outshooting the Trojans 36-33 in the game, LBSU scored five goals in the second half comeback effort to force an overtime period. USC scored two straight goals to take a 10-8 lead. Junior defender Austin Stevenson cut the lead to 10-9, but it was not enough as USC won the game, 11-9.
Next up for the 49ers is a road matchup against the No. 9 Pepperdine Waves at 4 p.m. on Friday.