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 eight assists compared to his 150 shots.
A loss Friday would put the 49ers in a tie for last place in the Golden Coast Conference.
The 49ers and Gauchos will face off at UCSB Friday 3 p.m.