Nov. 13, 2001
UCLA THIS WEEK: The Bruin men's water polo team travels to McDonald's Swim Stadium in Los Angeles for a crucial postseason tune-up match against USC. Game time is scheduled for 1 p.m. this Saturday (Nov. 17). Second-ranked UCLA enters the contest 12-3 overall, while the No. 3 Trojans come in with an 11-5 mark.
MPSF TOURNAMENT: The pairings have been set for the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation's championship tournament, which will be held Nov. 23-25 at Spieker Aquatic Complex in Berkeley. UCLA will face UC Santa Barbara at 2 p.m. Friday (Nov. 23) in the first round, then will meet either USC or California at 2 p.m. on Day Two. The title game is set for 3:30 p.m. Sunday, with the winner earning an automatic bid to the NCAA Final Four.
LAST WEEKEND: Senior two-meter Alfonso Tucay (Burbank/Burroughs) scored five goals in the Bruins' 14-6 victory over UC Irvine last Saturday at Anteater Aquatics Complex. The match completed the MPSF schedule for both teams. Tucay's performance was the highest single-game output by a UCLA player this season. Reserve two-meter Ted Peck (Fr., Irvine/University) and junior two-meter defender Matt Flesher (Diamond Bar/Brea Olinda) each recorded three goals.
UCLA's man-up situations went better than usual as the Bruins converted five-of-seven power-play opportunities. Brandon Brooks (Jr., Honolulu, HI/Punahou) recorded six saves in goal for UCLA.
UCLA vs. USC: The Bruins have taken both meetings with their archrivals so far in 2001. UCLA took the MPSF match 7-5 on Oct. 6 at Sunset Canyon Rec Center. The teams entered the final period of that match tied at 4-4 before Flesher and Brett Ormsby (Fr., El Cajon/Valhalla) each scored on extra to put the match away.
The rivals met again just eight days later in the semifinals of the NorCal Tournament at Palo Alto. The Bruins held off a late Trojan charge to take the contest, 9-8. UCLA scored four times in the third quarter to break a 3-3 tie, but USC answered and held possession for the final 80 seconds with a chance to draw even. But Brooks made the last two of his 11 saves to quash the rally and advance UCLA to the championship game (a 7-4 loss to Stanford).
BRUIN STATS: Ormsby continues to lead UCLA with 30 goals in his first collegiate season, while Tucay follows with 26 and Albert Garcia (So., Long Beach/Wilson) ... The Bruins have won all of their close games this season, posting a 7-0 record in matches decided by two goals or less ... With Saturday's win, the Bruins improved to 40-11 all-time when Brooks is the starting goalkeeper.
NATIONAL POLL: The weekly American Water Polo Coaches' Association collegiate poll will be released Wednesday at 2 p.m. PST ... The poll can be viewed at www.collegiatewaterpolo.com.