No. 6 Pepperdine Falls to No. 9 Long Beach State 14-12 in Close Overtime Loss

Luke Hewko

Oct. 29, 2011

MALIBU, Calif.- No. 6 Pepperdine water polo falls to No. 9 Long Beach State in a double overtime Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) match 14-12 on Saturday morning at Raleigh Runnels Memorial Pool.

Although the Waves held a 5-2 lead early in the third quarter, the 49ers were not going to go down easily and kept pushing offensively throughout the game and took a 10-9 lead late in the fourth quarter. Despite a goal to tie the game in regulation with two seconds left in the fourth by Nick Cooper (Clayton, Calif./Clayton Valley HS), the Waves were unable to capitalize in overtime play. Cooper and Luke Hewko (Irvine, Calif./Servite HS) led the Waves in the loss with two goals apiece. Bence Valics (Eger, Hungary/Erzsebet Secondary) had 12 saves in the game.

The Waves came out strong in the first quarter, with Mike Tragitt (Clovis, Calif./Clovis HS) putting the Waves head 1-0 at the 4:44 mark. The 49ers put away two late goals and the score going into the second quarter was 2-0. Valics had five saves in the quarter.

In the second quarter the Waves defense held strong, not allowing the 49ers to find the back of the net. Two penalty goals by Cooper and a goal with 16 seconds left by Matthew DeTrane (Moraga, Calif./Campolindo HS/Diablo Valley College) gave the Waves a 4-2 lead going into the break.

The 49ers came back strong in the third quarter, netting three goals to the Waves' one as they tied the score up at 5-5.

In the fourth quarter the scoring flood gates opened up as both teams would put away five goals apiece. The 49ers and Waves traded goals through the first two minutes of the quarter. Hewko put away to back-to-back goals to give the Waves the 8-7 lead with 4:30 left in regulation. The 49ers scored two-straight and held the lead at the 2:44 mark. Colin Carroll(Fountain Valley, Calif./Mater Dei HS) tied the score at 9-9 with the clock at 2:20. With just 17 seconds left, the 49ers' Devin Mefford scored his first goal of the game to put the Waves down 10-9. Cooper would hold last second heroics for the Waves, as he tied the score up 10-10 with just two seconds left in regulation.

The Waves had momentum going into the first overtime period, but the 49ers would put away two quick goals and the score going into the final overtime was 12-10 Long Beach State. With 2:32 left in the second overtime, the 49ers scored again to extend their lead to three, 13-10. Tragitt would score his second goal of the game to bring the Waves within two. The Waves brought the pressure and had the 49ers going the wrong way, but a quick feed in to the 49ers' Nick Rascon and he found the back of the net with 1:15 remaining. Waves' leading scorer Andrew Milcovich(Walnut Creek, Calif./De La Salle HS) put away his only goal of the game with 44 seconds left, but the deficit was too much and the Waves fell 14-12.

"I thought Long Beach had a great game today. I thought they came out with a vengeance as they needed an MPSF win today. We had a lead early in the second half and I thought we let down a bit. Any team in the MPSF, you must finish your opportunities to have the chance to win. We still have MPSF matches to go, so with each hopefully we can grow, learn and perform at our highest level. Now we have to move on to Santa Barbara and hopefully we can turn it around," head coach Jack Kocur said.

The Waves will regroup and head back out to Raleigh Runnels Pool for a 1 p.m. MPSF game against UC Santa Barbara on Sunday (Oct. 30).

Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 OT1 OT2 Final
LBSU 2 0 3 5 2 2 14
PEP 1 3 1 5 0 2 12

Nick Rascon 4, Dan Matulis 3, Milos Vrzic 2, Devin Mefford 2, Hayden Leach 2, Aleksandar Petrovic
PEP: Nick Cooper 3, Luke Hewko 3, Mike Tragitt 2, Colin Carroll, Tommy Briskey, Andrew Milcovich, Matthew DeTrane

SAVES: John Mroch (LBSU) 8, Bence Valics (PEP) 12



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