Brendan Nugent of the UC San Diego men’s water polo team. Photo courtesy UC San Diego Tritons

The 13th-ranked UC San Diego men’s water polo team led from start to finish and earned a 19-3 victory on the road Saturday at Western Water Polo Association opponent Concordia.

With the win, the Tritons moved to 3-5 overall and remained unbeaten at 2-0 in the conference. The Eagles fell to 1-9 on the season and 0-2 in the WWPA.

UC San Diego is now 8-1 all-time against Concordia.

How it Happened
The Tritons got out to a 3-0 lead with back-to-back-to-back goals in the opening period from Rhys Bugelli, Vedran Latkovic, and Max Carrillo.

The visitors exploded for seven net-finders in the second stanza while holding the Eagles to two. Not content with their three-consecutive goals in the first, the Tritons put six straight balls into the twine, the first coming from freshman Bennett Axline before the first 60 seconds of the quarter had expired. Axline book-ended the spree by scoring the last goal in the run with 1:13 left in the period. In between, goals came from Bugelli, Carrillo, Konstantin Karlov, his first of the season, and Max Abravanel.

Concordia got on the board when Jacob Stuart scored with 54 seconds remaining until halftime. 

Latkovic struck again with 29 seconds left on the clock, and Stuart logged his second goal of the game with four seconds left in the first half.

UC San Diego took a comfortable 10-2 advantage into the break.

The second half was much of the same as the Tritons out-scored the Eagles 4-0 in the third quarter and 5-1 in the fourth. They opened the third with four-straight goals and continued the streak into the fourth quarter as Latkovic tallied his third goal of the game to open the final stanza. Sophomore Trevor Moore netted his first goal of the season at the 3:08 mark of the fourth.

Axline, Carrillo, and Latkovic finished with three goals apiece. Abravanel, Bugelli, and Brendan Nugent had two each.

Alexander Nemeth played the first half in net for UC San Diego and was called upon to make eight saves. Logan Estes took the tending duties over in the second half and finished with five saves. Nemeth earned his second victory of 2021.

Triton Tidbits
• It was the fourth career hat trick for Carrillo.
• Nugent’s four points (two goals, two assists) today set a new career-high for the junior.
• With three goals and an assist today, Latkovic took back the team lead for goals (22) and points (29).
• Bugelli is the lone Triton to have scored in all eight of the team’s games this season.

Up Next
UC San Diego plays at seventh-ranked Long Beach State on Saturday, Sept. 17, at 1 p.m. The non-conference match will be broadcast live by ESPN+ and can also be followed with FOSH live stats.

UC San Diego’s annual Battle of the Kings is set for Wednesday, Sept. 21, at 6 p.m. when Loyola Marymount visits Canyonview Aquatic Center. Last season’s edition saw almost 1,000 fans witness the Tritons defeat the Lions with a Latkovic goal with just 15 seconds remaining in regulation.

Tickets for home matches are available for purchase here. UC San Diego students are admitted free to all home games.