Nov. 20, 2005
Los Angeles - The fifth-ranked UCLA men's water polo team earned an 11-7 victory over No. 8 Pacific in its regular season finale on Sunday at the Sunset Canyon Recreation Center. With the win, the Bruins improve to 19-7 overall and 5-3 in MPSF play, while the Tigers fall to 18-12 and 2-6 in MPSF action.
UCLA went up on the Tigers early, posting a 2-0 lead in the first period on goals by Sbutega at the 4:46 mark and sophomore Matthew Jacobs 46 seconds later.
The Bruins would extend their lead to 3-0 on a goal by freshman Patrick Morrison at the 5:11 mark in the second period, but Pacific answered on back-to-back goals by Dragan Bakic to cut the lead to 3-2. Senior David Pietsch scored at the 1:39 mark in the second and junior Grant Zider found the net with 39 second left in the first half to put the Bruins up 5-3 at halftime.
UCLA would pull away even more from the Tigers in the third period, as the Bruin offense posted four goals. Didinger launched a shot from across the pool for a goal at the 5:45 mark, followed by scores by Sbutega and Johnson to give UCLA a commanding 8-3 lead. Pacific's Clint McLaughlin would score with 2:48 left in the third period, but Johnson netted his second goal of the match with 45 seconds left in the period to put the Bruins up 9-4.
Bakic would score his third goal of the match at the 6:10 mark in the fourth period for Pacific, but goals by juniors Tyler Krikorian and Thomas Foley gave UCLA a 11-5 advantage with 4:52 left to play. Pacific's Matt Turnbull would score at the 2:36 mark and Bakic added his fourth goal of the match for the Tigers to cut the lead to 11-7 with 1:07 left to play, but Pacific would not get any closer than that.
UCLA will next compete at the 2005 MPSF Conference Championships Friday, Nov. 25 - Sunday, Nov. 27 at USC's McDonald's Swim Stadium.
Team 1 2 3 4 Total UCLA 2 3 4 2 11 Pacific 0 3 1 3 7Goals:
UCLA: Krikorian, Morrison, Didinger, Sbutega (2), Johnson (2), Foley, Pietsch, Zider, M. Jacobs
Pacific: Bakic (4), Turnbull, McLaughlin (2)
UCLA: Didinger (6)
Pacific: Popovic (8)