A three goal deficit proved to be too much for #6 ranked Long Beach State men’s water polo in its loss to the #4 ranked University of the Pacific on Saturday, 15-12.
LBSU hosted the Pacific Tigers in a rematch of the 2021 Grand Central Coast Championship, but could not hold the team off.
Pacific struck first with two goals from senior attacker Matthew Hosmer and sophomore attacker Mihailo Vukazic.
Quickly, The Beach scored two of their own from senior utility player Aaron Arias and sophomore attacker Evan Cain.
The game moved in a similar way throughout, with goals coming from both sides until Pacific took a two goal lead.
Defense played a part in the loss for LBSU due to the missed steal attempts and freedom for Pacific to pass the ball around. The Beach never led for one second in the entire game.
“Defense was atrocious,” LBSU men’s water polo coach Gavin Arroyo said. “We didn’t shot block to save our lives.”
Arroyo also said that goalie play was not the best, but it was not all on him.
LBSU junior goalie Andrej Bosanac had six saves in the game and one steal. According to Arroyo, 12 goals is more than enough to win a game, but it did not happen.
Highlights in the game were few and far between due to the constant back and forth in the game, as LBSU fans still cheered on their team.
This is not the first loss that The Beach has taken from the Pacific Tigers this season, as the two faced off and ended in the same result for LBSU, a 13-10 loss.
After the game, LBSU players refused to comment as their heads hung low and stared at the ground.
The home team took 30 total shots in the game and only made 12, which is low compared to the offensive clinic put on at the Gary Troyer Tournament the week prior.
A brighter spot for the team came in the form of assists as seven out of the 12 goals were assisted by LBSU players. Pacific only managed six assists in the game.
Despite winning all four sprints to begin each quarter, The Beach could not use this to its advantage.
Another factor in the loss were the 15 exclusions provided by Long Beach players compared to the Pacific Tigers’ nine.
Cain and junior attacker Rafael Real Vergara both managed to score half of the team’s goals by the final period, which provided a better offensive solution to the Pacific’s defense.
Vergara leads the team in goals with 33 on the season due to his powerful strikes toward the net, but this seemed futile in the game.
The Beach now moved to a 12-6 overall record on the season with 10 more regular season games left before the GCC Tournament.
The team will enter the Harvard Tournament to play the Saint Francis Brooklyn Terriers and Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts for the first day of the tournament on Oct. 15.