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Long Beach State jumps two spots to sixth in national polls with UCSB to finish out regular season

Balint Meszaros passes the ball after recording his 247th save of the season against UCI this past Sunday.

Nov. 14, 2012

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SHOWDOWN WITH THE GAUCHOS: Long Beach State leaped two spots to sixth in the national polls this week after defeating then fourth-ranked Pepperdine and No. 9 UCI last week. LBSU heads to Santa Barbara Saturday, Nov. 17th, for its final match of the regular season against No. 7 UC Santa Barbara at noon.

Heading into this week's match, the 49ers lead the head-to-head series against the Guachos by a margin of 47-43. The most recent win for Long Beach State against UC Santa Barbara was back in 2008 when the 49ers won 11-10.

UCSB (15-9, 1-6 MPSF) enters Saturday's contest having dropped its last four matches while the 49ers (21-7, 3-4MPSF) ride a two-game winning streak having defeated then No. 4 Pepperdine and No. 9 UCI this past weekend.

The most recent win for Long Beach State at the UCSB Campus Pool in conference play was back in 2004 when the 49ers won 12-11 in sudden death.

Saturday's contest along with results from rest of the league will determine what seed Long Beach State will receive for the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament. The highest seed LBSU can get is a fifth-seed while the lowest seed the 49ers can receive is seventh. With a win, Long Beach State can avoid facing UCLA and USC, both undefeated heading into this weekend, for its opening match of the tournament.

LBSU DOWNS UCI: Long Beach State defeated No. 9 UC Irvine 12-10 in the annual Black & Blue rivalry match Sunday afternoon as the 49ers hosted their final home game of the season at the Campus Pool. Nolan McConnell led all scorers with a team-high and game-high four goals while Balint Meszaros collected eight saves to push his total to 247.

LBSU honored its four seniors, Travis Cleland, Barry Snyder, Spencer White, and team-captain Brian Schiefer, during a pre-game ceremony prior to the match Sunday. Each senior was presented with a commemorative rugby-style polo in front of the home crowd by head coach Gavin Arroyo and assistant coach Liz Grimes.

True freshman McConnell recorded a natural hat-trick for Long Beach State with three consecutive goals to start the match and finished the first quarter shooting 100% at 4-4. Nick Rascon chipped with one in first frame for the 49ers making it 5-1.

Spencer White ended the Anteaters' 3-0 run that lasted for 6:30 on the 6-on-5 advantage immediately after UCI's Blake Terry was excluded with 53 seconds remaining in the first half. Dimitrios Lappas then followed White's goal with a rocket past UC Irvine's goalie, Michael Bailey, to extend the 49er lead to 7-4.

Both teams exchanged goals in the third frame before Milos Vrzic shot one past the Anteater (14-11, 0-7) defense making it 10-6 LBSU heading into the final period.

Rascon recorded his second hat trick of the year at 5:08 with a cannon shot past UCI's Bailey to bring the 49er lead back up to 12-8. Bojan Hrlec hurled in a penalty shot before Mitch Wise scored on the power play moments after Carter Taylor was rolled from the game but it was not enough as Long Beach State held on for the 12-10 victory.

49ERS BREAK WAVES: LBSU was fired up and ready to play as it dominated the match from beginning to end, upsetting No. 4 Pepperdine 12-7 last Thursday at the Campus Pool for its annual gold game. Nine different players scored for the 49ers while Balint Meszaros recorded seven saves to take sole possession of ninth-place in school history for saves in a single-season.

The 12-7 win over the Waves (11-10, 3-5 MPSF) was the first time LBSU had defeated an opponent in conference play by a margin of five since 2001. It was also the first time in 23 years that a 49er squad had won 20 or more games, the most recent 20-win plus season was in 1985 when Long Beach State went 20-9.

Dan Matulis struck first for the 49ers scoring in the two-meter zone at 7:05. Matt Brown fired one in past Meszaros at 1:44 left in the first but Carter Taylor responded with a goal during Long Beach State's next possession to bring the lead back to 3-1.

Matulis extended the 49er lead to 4-2 during a power play on Milos Vrzic's lob pass. Mike Tragitt tried to cut LBSU's lead down with a goal at 2:46 in the second but Spencer White and Vrzic scored on back-to-back possessions to finish the first half leading 6-3.

Colin Carroll fired a shot in for the Waves to start the second half but Nick Rascon fired a canon past Bence Valics give the 49ers a 7-4 lead. Rascon's goal would start a 4-0 run that lasted for 8:07 until Marko Madaras hurled a shot past Meszaros making it 10-5 Long Beach State.

Devin Mefford scored off of Brian Schiefer's shot off the crossbar in the final frame at 2:16 to earn the 12-7 victory. Pepperdine's Josh Tice and Nick Cooper attempted to start the rally after Mefford's goal but it was too little too late.



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