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Men's Water Polo Opens Season With 10-8 Win Over Air Force

Sophomore Nolan McConnell scored four goals includding the go-ahead goal against the Falcons.

Sep 7, 2013

La Jolla, Calif. - No. 6 Long Beach State opened up the 2013 campaign with a victory, defeating No. 12 Air Force 10-8 in the opening match of the Triton Invitational, hosted by UC San Diego. Sophomore Nolan McConnell led the 49ers with four goals, while Pavo Ljepopio made eight saves in his debut for Long Beach State.

Air Force (0-1) was able to get on the board first, but the teams remained tied after the first quarter 1-1. The Falcons held the lead at 3-2 after a Dominic Vicino goal in the second quarter with 1:34 remaining, but Devin Mefford answered on the next trip down the pool, and Patrick Goodenough scored with 19 seconds to play in the half to give the 49ers a 4-3 lead at the break.

The Falcnos took the lead once more at 6:43 in the third quarter, scoring the first two goals of the second half, but Milos Vrzic scored the first of his two goals to even up the score once more at 5-5, and then McConnell pushed Long Beach State (1-0) in front twice more in the quarter. Air Force was able to answer once more and tied the score at 7-7 with the clock running out in the third.

The fourth quarter belonged to Long Beach State, however, as Vrzic gave the 49ers the lead once more, and after an equalizer from the Falcons, McConnell put Long Beach State up for good with 2:43 remaining. With an extra man, the 49ers put across an insurance goal with 28 seconds remaining and closed out the 10-8 victory.

Next up for the 49ers at the Triton Invitational is a matchup with Cal Lutheran. That match is scheduled to begin at 2:30 this afternoon.



No. 12 Air Force - 1, 2 4, 1 | 8
No. 6 Long Beach State - 1, 3, 3, 3 | 10

AF: Zack Kamai 2, Landon Carr, Brad Duncan, Petar Jackovich, Jantz Johnson, Josh Stedman, Dominic Vicino
LBSU: Nolan McConnell 4, Mlios Vrzic 2, Patrick Goodenough, Ricardo Guimares, Zacchary Kappos, Devin Mefford.

AF: Cable Guarino, 7
LBSU: Pavo Ljepopio, 8

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