A late surge by the San José State men's water polo team wasn't enough to catch No. 4-ranked University of the Pacific as the Spartans fall to the Tigers, 16-6, at the Aquatic Center.
The Tigers (17-2, 4-0 MPSF) scored early in the match on a strike by Alex Obert only 17 seconds in. Scoring again at the 5:09 mark, Obert had three goals against the Spartans with his final goal coming in the second. Derek Clappis also had a goal in the first.
The Spartans' (3-16, 0-4 MPSF) first goal came on a shot by Alek Dendall with two seconds left in the opening period. Dendall added goals in the third and fourth periods to finish the game with a hat trick. Pacific had a 3-1 lead after one period.
"I've been working on my shot selection all week," Dendall said. "It's nice to have a hat trick but I want to get a win."
San José State was shutout in the second quarter as Pacific continued to build a lead on a goal by Tim Reeves and three consecutive goals by Devon Thumwood before halftime. Thumwood was the leading scorer for Pacific with four goals after finding the back of the cage early in the fourth. The Tigers took an 8-1 lead into the half.
The Spartans allowed three goals in the third period to trail Pacific 11-2 going into fourth. Aleksander Petrovic, J.T. Sarmento and Ikko Saito each had a pair of goals in the second half for the Tigers. Scoring Pacific's final goal with 2:06 left in the final quarter was Mitchell Youhanna.
Adding to Dendall's final score, Akos Balazs scored back-to-back goals in less than minute midway through the fourth. Nick Serratos picked up the Spartans' final goal with 51 seconds left to close out the game.
"I'm happy to score a couple of goals because lately my offense hasn't been too good," Balazs said. "I've been focusing more on defense with the new rules rather than my offense."
Matej Matijevic started in goal for the Spartans, grabbing 11 saves in 20 minutes of action. By halftime Matijevic made nine saves. Entering the match at the 3:48 mark in the third, Cole Williams made two saves for San José State.
"I switched to Williams to get him some more experience," said Head Coach Bruce Watson. "It was a very frustrating situation for Matej because the other guys weren't playing very well."
Goalkeeper Brady Moore had eight saves in three periods for the Tigers. Zach Paxton played the final period in the cage, making two saves.
The Spartans are back at the Aquatic Center Friday, October 23, to host the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at 2:00 p.m. before making an appearance in the Santa Clara's Rodeo Tournament at 7:30 p.m.
by Brian S. Stanley, SJSU athletics media relations student assistant
|Score by Quarters||1||2||3||4||Total|
|San José State||1||0||1||4||6|
|Pacific - Devon Thumwood, 4; Alex Obert, 3; Aleksandar Petrovic, J.T. Sarmento, Ikko Saito, 2, each; Tim Reeves, Derek Clappis, Mitchell Youhanna, 1, each.|
|San José State - Alek Dendall, 3; Akos Balazs, 2; Nick Serratos, 1.|
|Pacific - Brady Moore (3 Quarters), 8; Zach Paxton (1 Quarter), 2.|
|San José State - Matej Matijevic (2.5 Quarters), 11; Cole Williams (1.5 Quarters), 2.|
|Pacific - 2|
|San José State - 8|