ANTEATER AQUATICS COMPLEX - While UC Irvine men's water polo coach
Ted Newland talks about how young his team is this season and how
difficult traveling is these days with long lines at the airports,
strange times were never more evident than late in Saturday night's
nonconference game against visiting USC.
With USC running out the clock on an offensive series, Ivan Babic
lobbed from the far corner toward the goal as his teammates headed back
the other way.
But UCI freshman Dan Noon tapped it in for a USC goal with 1:03 left,
providing the fourth-ranked Trojans with a two-goal advantage as they
held on for a 6-4 win.
"(The ball) just hit his hand," Newland said. "He didn't mean to do
UCI (4-7) fell behind in the first half, 3-0, before rallying to pull
within a goal with 1:32 to play, when Anteater senior John Dorfi scored
his second goal of the night on a man-up situation.
But, after stopping the Trojans and instead of UCI swimming downpool
with a minute left to tie the game, the 'Eaters trailed by a deuce on
Noon's excuse-me tap-in for the wrong team.
"We're really young. It just takes time," said Newland, whose team of
three seniors and five freshmen (along with a junior and two sophomores)
is 1-3 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation.
USC (7-5, 3-2 in MPSF), which features freshmen and Newport Beach
residents Robert Weiner (Newport Harbor), Garrett Marquis (Santa
Margarita) and Ryan Cook (Newport Harbor), scored first with 0:11 left in
the opening quarter on a goal by Jeff Larson. Daniel Lontay and Erik
Healy scored in the second quarter as the Trojans built a 3-0 edge.
Predrag Damjanov put the Trojans up, 4-0, with 4:23 remaining in the
third quarter, then senior Chris Kirchwehm broke the ice for UCI, scoring
on a skip shot with 2:54 on the third-quarter clock.
Dorfi beat two USC defenders, Larson and Nenad Praporski, on a play in
the hole, scoring from two meters on a pass from the weak side with 2:14
After USC went ahead, 5-3, in the fourth quarter, UCI 6-foot-8
freshman Dreason Barry scored from two meters with 3:26 to play, then
Dorfi scored an extra-man goal on the Anteaters' second shot of a power
play with 1:32 left.
"We were right there," Newland said.