#8 Waves Edge #9 Long Beach 8-7 in Home Opener

MALIBU, Calif. - Senior Brett Auer led the #8 Pepperdine men's water polo team to an 8-7 win over #9 Long Beach at their home opener on Saturday afternoon.

"This was a good game for us," said Pepperdine Head Coach Jack Kocur. "We're 1-1 in MPSF play now and that momentum will help push us forward in the SoCal Tournament next weekend. Tommy O'Connell was our goalkeeper today and as a true freshman, he had an unheard of 15 saves."

The Waves (4-6, 1-1) jumped out to a one goal lead in the first period. Senior Taylor Watson (Alamo, Calif./Monte Vista HS) scored two goals on 6-on-5 opportunities. His first goal followed a Long Beach (4-4, 0-2) goal on a penalty at 6:59 by Jason Kochel (LB).  Junior Andrew Milcovich (Walnut Creek, Calif./De La Salle HS) netted a goal on a 5-meter penalty shot at 3:40, while Long Beach tied it up at 2-2 with a goal by Taylor Clute with 1:20 left on the clock. Watson scored his second goal with 19 seconds left in the first period.

Long Beach's Jeff Greenwood tied the game at 3-3 with an early goal in the second period at 7:11. Auer responded with back-to-back goals at 6:50 and 2:49 to end the half with the Waves up, 5-3.

Pepperdine was unable to score on two 6-on-5 opportunities early in the third period. Alexsandr Petrovic (LB) took advantage of a Long Beach power play at 5:39 to make the score 5-4. Auer came back with a 6-on-5 goal at 4:00 to put the Waves back up by two at 6-4. Kevin Mundie (LB) scored on another 6-on-5 opportunity with 3:33 left in the period. Teammate Carter Taylor (LB) tied the game at 6-6 with a goal at 1:18 to end the period.

The Waves JP MacDonell (Redwood City, Calif./Bellarmine HS) entered the match in the fourth period and scored soon after at 6:42 and the Pepperdine was back up at 7-6. Sam Busby (La Jolla, Calif./La Jolla HS) scored the final Wave goal with 3:05 on the clock to make the score 8-6. Clute answered with a Beach goal at 2:34, but a strong Pepperdine defense prevented any further scoring and the Waves ended the game up, 8-7.

Freshman goalkeeper Tommy O'Connell (Trabuco Canyon, Calif./El Toro HS) had an outstanding 15 saves. Long Beach goalkeeper Derek Weibe-Bailey was credited with six saves.

#8 Pepperdine 8  #9 Long Beach 7

                            1                2              3               4

PEP                     3                2              1               2        8

LB                        2               1              3                1        7

Pepperdine Goals: (Brett Auer 3, Taylor Watson 2, JP MacDonell 1, Andrew Milcovich 1, Sam Busby 1)

Long Beach Goals: (Taylor Clute 2, Alexsandr Petrovic 2, Jeff Greenwood 1, Kevin Mundia 1, Carter Taylor 1)

Goalie Saves: Tommy O'Connell (PEP) 15, Derek Weibe-Bailey (LB) 6



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