No. 5 water polo sweeps tough weekend slate
After a month and a half on the road, No.5 Pacific men’s water polo finally returned home this past weekend just in time for Homecoming!
The Tigers hosted two opponents during their weekend home stand, facing No. 7 UC Irvine and No. 4 Stanford.
Pacific took each battle in stride, coming out on top in both matchups. They improve to 16-2 on the season and remain undefeated in conference.
UC Irvine came out strong, scoring early in the first quarter even with the rainy weather conditions. Though the Tigers were down by two, utility Aleksandar Petrovic ’17 soon got Pacific on the board with an assisted goal. The Anteaters answered back quickly, but the Tigers trailed very closely behind.
Attacker Devon Thumwood ‘18 tied the game in the second quarter, and the tug-of-war began. Each time UC Irvine scored, Pacific would answer back and vice versa.
The matchup continued to go back and forth, but Pacific had the last word in the last remaining 40 seconds of the game.
After scoring three straight in the fourth quarter, the Tigers took the lead and ran away with the game, 11-10. Attacker Ben Stevenson ’17 tallied four goals against the Anteaters, including the game-winning goal. Goalkeeper Brady Moore ’16 finished with 13 saves.
In Sunday’s matchup, Pacific came out very strong, forcing Stanford to commit multiple turnovers. Thumwood led the offensive onslaught with three goals on the day, and Petrovic and utility Alex Obert ’16 followed suit with two goals each.
The Tigers dominated in the second half, leading to an 11-7 victory over the Cardinal.
This is the first time Pacific has been a top-4 ranked team this season, and they look forward to continuing the trend this weekend against No. 2 USC.
In the 2013 season, Pacific defeated the then No. 1 USC, knocking them out and taking their place in the NCAA poll for the first time in program history.
Ultimately, the Tigers fell to them in the National Championship at Stanford that season; nonetheless, Pacific looks to charge forward and take down their rivals once again this weekend!
The Tigers take a short trip to the Bay Area this Thursday to face San Jose State, but they return to Chris Kjeldsen Pool on Friday to host No. 13 Bucknell, followed by another game against USC on Sunday.
The Friday match is set to begin at 3:30 p.m, and the Sunday match will start at noon.
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