Dec. 5, 2004
Stanford, Calif. - Sophomore Logan Powell scored the game-winning goal with 13 seconds remaining in the second overtime period to send UCLA to a thrilling 10-9 victory over Stanford on Sunday afternoon in the NCAA Men's Water Polo Championships at Stanford's Avery Aquatics Center. For the Bruins, it is their eighth NCAA title in men's water polo and the 95th for the UCLA athletic program.
Stanford took an early edge when Greg Crum converted a Tony Azevedo pass past Bruin goalkeeper Joseph Axelrad for a 1-0 lead. UCLA would answer less than a minute later when senior attacker Brett Ormsby dished off to fellow senior attacker Albert Garcia, who sent one past Cardinal keeper Chad Taylor. The Cardinal reclaimed the lead at 4:15 in the first on an extra-man goal by Sam Tyre and ran their lead to 3-1 with Thomas Hopkins' goal from just inside two meters at 3:20. But UCLA's Garcia netted his second goal of the match at 1:21 to bring the Bruins to within one.
Then at the five minute mark in the second, the Bruins re-knotted the match when Peter Belden pushed in a shot just beyond the goal line after Ted Peck's shot was deflected by Taylor. Stanford regained the lead again with Peter Varellas' extra-man goal at 4:17. UCLA would then go on to score two unanswered goals to bring a 5-4 lead into halftime. UCLA's fourth goal came as Grant Zider scored on a lob pass from Ormsby just outside two-meters. Powell gave the Bruins their first lead of the match when his shot, assisted by Josh Hewko, deflected off Stanford's Taylor and into the cage.
The teams exchanged single goals in the third, but UCLA received a break when, early in the period after a Bruin defensive stop, Peck, looking to pass back to Axelrad for an outlet pass, left it short of the net and allowed Azevedo to intercept. Axelrad, however, held strong and blocked the one-on-one shot. At 4:28, UCLA took a two-goal lead when Hewko fired into an empty right side of the net after fielding a lofted pass from Ormsby. Stanford climed back to within a goal when Thomas Hopkins scored at 1:09 for the Cardinal's third extra-man score of the game.
In the fourth, Axelrad came up huge again as he fended off another wide-open Azevedo shot with under five minutes to play to maintain UCLA's 6-5 advantage. UCLA padded its lead when, at 3:14 in the final period, Ormsby found the back of the net after taking a cross pass from Garcia. However, the Cardinal would not go quietly, as Varellas brought Stanford to within one at 0:51 in the fourth and Azevedo tied the match at 0:21 after an offensive turnover sent the ball Stanford's way.
In the first overtime period, Stanford gained control at 1:56 when Hopkins found the back of the net from just outside four meters. The Bruins struck right back at 1:45 when Ormsby scored his second goal of the game for the 8-8 tie. Heading into the second overtime period tied, Stanford took a 9-8 lead at 1:54 with another extra-man goal from Varellas. But the Bruins fought back again with Peck's first goal of the match after UCLA received a 6-on-5 advantage of its own. Powell scored the championship-winning goal with 0:13 remaining after a Hewko 6-on-5 shot sailed off the arms of Taylor and into Powell's possession. His shot deflected off Taylor again but this time dribbled past the goal line.
UCLA head coach Adam Krikorian is now tied with UC Irvine's Ted Newland for NCAA water polo titles won by an active head coach with three.
Notes: The Avery Aquatic Center holds 2,500 fans, about 500 less than the 3,044 in attendance Sunday ... UCLA allowed three goals in the first quarter, only the third time the Bruins have allowed that many first-quarter goals all season ... Because of the national telecast of the match, halftime was 10 minutes long instead of the traditional five minute break ... UCLA played the overtime period without Garcia, Matt Jacobs (exhausted penalties) and Chris Pulido (game exclusion).
UCLA 2 3 1 1 1-2 = 10 Stanford 3 1 1 2 1-1 = 9
UCLA Scorers: Garcia 2, Ormsby 2, Powell 2, Belden 1, Hewko 1, Zider 1, Peck 1 Stanford Scorers: Varellas 3, Hopkins 2, Crum 2, Azevedo 1, Tyre 1, Goalie Saves: Axelrad (UCLA) 8; Taylor (S) 6