Irvine, Calif.--- The #11 San José State University men’s water polo team was defeated 18-14 by #8 UC Santa Barbara in a double overtime thriller at Anteater Aquatics Complex. UCSB scored two goals with a minute left in the fourth quarter to force overtime, and gain the victory.
“The team played hard, and we made some mistakes at key moments,” said Spartan head coach Bruce Watson. “We lost in overtime, and it was another one of those games where we are close. It is a game we hope to grow from.”
Ben Hauschild scored five goals on five shots with four steals in the game.
“Ben Hauschild played one of the best games of his career for this team,” said Coach Watson.
Jacob Mercep scored four times, and had an assist against the Gauchos. He had four steals in his final game of the season. In his first season, the freshman totaled 93 goals for the Spartans.
Boris Jonanovic scored five goals for the Gauchos to seal the victory over the Spartans. Reed Cotterill scored four times, and had two steals against the Spartans.
Freshman and sophomores accounted for 253 of the Spartans 293 goals this season.
“It was our third step in the process of building a successful program. The players are getting better and the team is getting better. We are young and have to be patient with such a young team,” said Coach Watson.