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    UC Santa Barbara Men’s Water Polo Split Opening Day of Big West-WCC Clash

    No. 12 UC Santa Barbara Men’s Water Polo opened the inaugural Big West-WCC Clash with a pair of ranked matchups against Big West opposition on Saturday. The Gauchos split the day, defeating No. 11 UC San Diego, 15-11, but falling to No. 8 UC Davis, 15-12. Dash McFarland led the team with four goals in each game, and reigning Big West Player of the Week Adam Gyenis had hat-tricks in each fixture.

    NO. 12 UC SANTA BARBARA, 15, NO. 11 UC SAN DIEGO, 11

    The Gauchos held their own across the first three quarters, but ultimately put the Tritons in a corner in the fourth quarter, stretching the one goal differential into a solid four point lead for the win. Notably, McFarland led the Santa Barbara offense, clocking in with four goals, followed closely by Gyenis with three points on the board.

    The Gauchos kept the score tight with the Tritons across the first quarter. Gyenis and McFarland were essential to setting the tone, both cranking out a goal each before the first buzzer rang. Santa Barbara and San Diego remained in close competition through the second and third quarters, never breaking more than a two goal differential. The Gauchos managed to turn up the heat in the fourth quarter. Goals from across the roster cemented a four point lead and a Gaucho victory by the time of the final whistle.

    HEAD COACH WOLF WIGO ON THE MATCH AGAINST UC SAN DIEGO

    “It was a slow start and we missed a lot of opportunities that we usually convert,” Wigo said. “We kept it close and then once we started converting we pulled away and did a great job at the end of controlling the clock.”

    NO. 12 UC SANTA BARBARA, 12, NO. 8 UC DAVIS 15

    UC Santa Barbara saw action against UC Davis in this afternoon’s matchup. Three Gauchos stood out on the scoreboard; the combined efforts of Brock Zamanian (3 goals), McFarland (4 goals), and Gyenis (3 goals) totaled a combined 10 of UC Santa Barbara’s 12 total goals for the game.

    The Aggies’ top ten ranking didn’t deter the Gauchos from going on the offensive. The two teams matched one another goal-for-goal across the first quarter. Throughout the second, the teams competed for a two goal differential. The third quarter saw the Aggies pull away for a three point lead. Despite a fourth quarter comeback attempt from UC Santa Barbara, UC Davis ultimately pulled away to victory.

    UP NEXT

    UC Santa Barbara will meet No. 15 San Jose State at 9:15 a.m. Sunday morning at Tustin High School, then take on one of the teams from Group A at either 2:00 or 3:15 p.m. The time, opponent and venue for that matchup will be determined following the game against the Spartans. Per UC Irvine policy, tickets must be purchased online, and there will not be ticket sales on-site at Tustin High School. For fans following from afar, live stats will be available on ucsbgauchos.com for all four of UC Santa Barbara’s games this weekend.

    Giselle Lewis contributed to this article. Lewis is the head writing intern for UC Santa Barbara Athletics.

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