Nov. 23, 2001
BERKELEY, Calif. - Despite their lowest offensive output of the season, the UCLA men's water polo team played enough defense to eke past UCSB. The Bruins defeated the Gauchos, 3-1, in a quarterfinal match of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships Friday afternoon at Spieker Aquatics Complex.
The second-seeded Bruins (14-3) will meet the host school, California, in a semifinal pairing at 3:30 p.m. Saturday. The sixth-seeded Bears upset USC, 5-3, in another quarterfinal. UCSB's single goal was the worst output by a Bruin opponent in three years, while UCLA recorded its lowest score to win a match in school history.
Albert Garcia (So., Long Beach/Wilson) opened the scoring 90 seconds into the first quarter, taking an outlet pass from Bruin goalkeeper Brandon Brooks (Jr., Honolulu, HI/Punahou) and rifling a shot past Gaucho goalie Trevor Spence.
UCLA doubled its advantage when leading goal-scorer Brett Ormsby (Fr., El Cajon/Valhalla) found the net later in the opening period. UCSB responded with an extra-man goal from Tom Coughlan to cut the lead to 2-1 at the break.
Senior Jeff Pfleuger (Santa Ana/Foothill) restored the two-goal margin with a power-play goal late in the first half.
Both teams put on a defensive clinic after intermission. UCLA registered season highs of 16 steals and five field saves. Matt Flesher (Jr., Diamond Bar/Brea Olinda) and Alfonso Tucay (Sr., Burbank/Burroughs) each recorded three steals, while Dan Yeilding (Jr., San Clemente) notched two field saves.
"Neither team could take advantage of its opportunities, but our defensive effort was the key to everything," Bruin head coach Adam Krikorian said.
Brooks collected seven saves in UCLA's goal, while Spence notched eight for the Gauchos.
The Bruins defeated Cal in their only previous meeting of the season - an 8-6 overtime victory on Oct. 20 - and Krikorian expects a defensive struggle again.
"Cal is probably the hottest team in the country right now and we'll need another great effort to keep rolling," Krikorian said.
UCSB 1 0 0 0 - 1
UCLA 2 1 0 0 - 3
UCSB - Tom Coughlan
Goalkeepers - UCSB: Trevor Spence (3 GA, 8 Saves), UCLA: Brandon Brooks (1 GA, 7 Saves)
Shots - UCSB 17, UCLA 22
Extra-Man - UCSB 1-3, UCLA 1-3