Waves Survive Lions, Then Fall To No. 1 Bears At NorCal Tournament

Sept. 18, 2010

BERKELEY, Calif. – The No. 9 Pepperdine men’s water polo team eked out a thrilling 8-7 sudden-death overtime win over No. 8 Loyola Marymount before falling 15-6 to No. 1 Cal during the first day of competition at the 2010 NorCal Tournament.


Saturday’s results give the Waves a 5-2 record heading into Sunday’s 8 a.m. contest vs. No. 5 UC Irvine. Should Pepperdine upend the Anteaters, its final game will take place at 2:40 p.m. against either No. 7 Pacific or No. 6 UC Santa Barbara.


Junior Nathan Castillo (Newport Beach, Calif./Newport Harbor HS/Golden West College) led all Waves with three goals against the Lions, including the game-winner from two-meters out on the left-hand side.


“It was a crazy and exciting game,” assistant coach Gary O’Brien said. “We got the ball within two meters to the number one spot, but had no shot, so we passed the ball around once again as they we’re coming in even and Nate fired off a quick wrist shot from the near side.”




Pepperdine thought it maybe had the game won at the end of the second overtime after sophomore Spencer Hamby (Granite Bay, Calif./Granite Bay HS) scored the go-ahead goal with 26 seconds remaining, but the Lions’ Edgaras Asajavicius pushed a shot past senior goalkeeper Bryce McLain (Costa Mesa, Calif./Newport Beach HS) with only three ticks left on the clock. 


McLain finished the game with 13 saves according to stats kept by Cal, but O’Brien said he chalked up four more stops for his veteran goalie in applauding his performance.


“Bryce was phenomenal in goal today and we wouldn’t have won this game without him,” O’Brien said. “He only allowed seven goals in 75 minutes of action and six of his saves came during 6-on-5’s.”


Pepperdine's win over LMU not only evened their season series at 1-1, but gave the Waves a much needed point in the PCH Challenge Series. LMU still leads the series; however, 1.5 - 1.0 after winning last Saturday's game at Runnels Pool in Malibu.


Against tournament host Cal, the Waves trailed 7-5 entering halftime but started to feel the effects of their emotional victory as the Bears outscored Pepperdine, 8-1, in the second half.


“It was a very physical game and I think we ran out of gas sometime in the third quarter,” O’Brien said. “We ended the first quarter with them tied at 4-4 and were only down by two entering the half after having missed two 6-on-5 opportunities. Then they turned to their bench in the third quarter and ran away with the game.”


Castillo posted a multi-goal game vs. the Bears with two goals, sharing the team lead with redshirt sophomore Matt Brown (Bellevue, Wash./Brown Academy).


Pepperdine 8, Loyola Marymount 7 SDOT

Pepperdine                  4          2          0          0          0          1          1          -           8

Loyola Marymount       2          3          0          1          0          1          0          -           7


Pepperdine Goals: Nathan Castillo 3, Rex Learmouth, Spencer Hamby,

Colin Carroll, Tommy Briskey, Nick Cooper


Loyola Marymount Goals: Jon Colton, Tibor Forai, Albert Samuels,

Max Schlegel, Derek Milligan, Edgaras Asajavicius, Ikaika Aki


Pepperdine Goalie Saves: Bryce McLain 13


Loyola Marymount Goalie Saves: Andy Stevens 15



Cal 15, Pepperdine 6

Pepperdine      4          1          0          1          -           6

Cal                   4          3          4          4          -           15


Pepperdine Goals: Nathan Castillo 2, Matt Brown 2,

Rex Learmouth, James Perry


Cal Goals: Ivan Rackov 4, Zach White 4, Cory Nasoff 2,

Luka Saponjic, Collin Smith, Zach Greenwood, Charlie Steffens,

Max Bergeson


Pepperdine Goalie Saves: Bryce McLain 3 (first half), Bence Valics (second half) 5


Cal Goalie Saves: Justin Parsons 4




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