Sept. 10, 2001
UCLA vs. PRINCETON: The UCLA Bruins (1-0) host the Princeton Tigers (3-0) in a non-conference water polo match at 10:30 a.m. Friday at Sunset Canyon Recreation Center. UCLA leads the all-time series 2-0, including a 13-3 victory last season.
Princeton opened its season last weekend with wins over Queens College, Johns Hopkins, and St. Francis. The Tigers are led by junior driver Kevin Foster, who scored six goals against Johns Hopkins, and senior goalkeeper John Farris. Led by fourth-year coach Luis Nicolao, Princeton lost to Navy in the final of the Eastern Championships last season, the tournament that qualifies an East Coast team for the NCAA Final Four.
SO CAL TOURNAMENT: The Bruins' first major test comes Saturday and Sunday at the Southern California tournament, hosted by USC. The field includes all nine Mountain Pacific Sports Federation teams, Navy, Air Force, and 2000 NCAA runner-up UC San Diego. In all, 11 of the top 12 teams in the American Water Polo Coaches Association's preseason poll will be featured.
UCLA, seeded first in its pool, takes on UC Santa Barbara (0-1) and Navy (0-0) in first-round matches. Opening sprints on Saturday evening will be at 4:10 and 8:50, respectively.
The tournament concludes Sunday with classification-round games, with semifinals in the morning and the tournament championship set for 6:30 p.m.
LAST WEEKEND: UCLA opened its NCAA title defense with a convincing 12-2 victory over No. 6-ranked UC Irvine (0-1) on Saturday. The match between the two MPSF foes was a conference non-counter. Driver Brett Ormsby (Fr., El Cajon/Valhalla) made his Bruin debut special by scoring once in each period. UCLA raced to a 5-0 halftime advantage and led 8-1 after three quarters.
The UCLA defense stifled the Anteaters' attack, holding UCI scoreless for the first 19 minutes, 50 seconds of the match. All-American goalkeeper Brandon Brooks (Jr., Honolulu, HI/Punahou) made 13 saves, including seven in the fourth quarter. Three other Bruins - Jeff Pflueger (Sr., Santa Ana/Foothill), Matt Flesher (Jr., Diamond Bar/Brea Olinda), and Ted Peck (Fr., Irvine/University) - chipped in two goals apiece. Dan Yeilding (Jr., San Clemente) added a goal and three assists.
"This was a definite surprise," Bruin head coach Adam Krikorian said. "Our team defense was outstanding. With a young team, it'll be interesting to see how consistent we'll be as we go along."
NATIONAL POLL: UCLA was ranked third in the 2001 preseason coaches' poll released Sept. 5 ... USC and Stanford tied for the top spot, each garnering 92 points out of a possible 100. UCLA, California, and Pepperdine rounded out the top five ...The next poll will be released Wednesday, September 12.