#5 Water Polo Rolls at UCSB, 14-7, Earns GCC Top Seed

#5 Water Polo Rolls at UCSB, 14-7, Earns GCC Top Seed

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - A 5-0 second quarter run propelled the No. 5 Pacific men's water polo team to a 14-7 win over No. 10 UC Santa Barbara on Friday night as the Tigers clinched at least a share of the Golden Coast Conference regular season title.

Pacific received hat tricks from Luis Araya, Luke Pavillard and Engin Ege Colak, while Ben Stevenson and Devon Thumwood each added two. Andres Schmidt rounded out the Tigers' scoring.

With the win, Pacific improves to 15-4 overall, and 4-0 in GCC play. The Tigers have a one-game lead and the head-to-head tie-breakers with UC Irvine and Long Beach State, giving Pacific the top seed in the GCC Tournament. 

UC Santa Barbara falls to 9-11 overall, 0-4 in GCC action.

Pavillard opened the scoring and then Colak added a power-play goal for a 2-0 lead. The Gauchos picked up a goal back with 34 seconds left in the first as Shane Hauschild finished cross cage on the power-play. Colak scored on the Tigers' final possession of the quarter, but UCSB beat the clock with a goal from Hauschild as time expired on the quarter.

In the second, Brannan Haket knotted up the game for the Gauchos before Pavillard ripped home his second of the game for a 4-3 lead with 5:48 to go in the half. Araya added a power-play goal and an even strength goal as the Tigers led 6-3 with 3:06 to go before the half. Stevenson added a pair of goals as the Tigers seized control, 8-3 at halftime.

The Gauchos broke the Tigers five-goal run with a tally from Tommy Fellner in the third. UCSB added a power-play goal to pull within three. Pavillard responded with his third goal of the game, on the power-play, giving the Tigers a 9-5 lead with 3:45 left in the third. In transition, Schmidt pumped and fired, beating the keeper for a 10-5 lead. Hauschild converted a five-meter penalty shot, but Thumwood responded with his own five-meter penalty shot goal for an 11-6 lead.

Araya's third capped a power-play for a 12-6 lead, before Chad Nelson tallied for UCSB. Thumwood's second put the game out of reach, at 13-7 with 3:31 to play. Colak completed his hat trick with a gaol with 1:49 left on an Araya assist for a 14-7 lead.

Goalkeeper John Hedges recorded three saves and three steals for the Tigers.

The Tigers return to Chris Kjeldsen Pool for a 1 p.m. showdown on Sunday with No. 1 Southern California.