Sept. 14, 2002
Los Angeles, Calif. - The sixth-ranked UCLA men's water polo team notched its first victory of the young season with a 7-6 win over Navy, but not before falling 11-8 in overtime to fourth-ranked California in the first day of the So Cal Tournament at USC.
The Bruins' first match of the day pitted them against their MPSF foe California, who had already scored a 15-5 win over Navy earlier in the day. Despite falling behind, 3-1 after the first quarter, UCLA battled back, with three goals in the third period to even the score at 7-7 at the end of regulation. However, the rally would fall short as the Golden Bears scored four goals in overtime to earn the victory and a spot in the tournament semi-finals. Senior center defender Matt Flesher led UCLA with two goals and senior goalkeeper Brandon Brooks tallied six saves. Also adding scores for the Bruins were Ted Peck, Albert Garcia, Brett Ormsby, Josh Hewko and Dan Yeilding.
UCLA would not end its day on that note and earned a 7-6 victory over Navy only four hours later. The two teams traded goals in the first half and the score was tied 2-2 heading into halftime. The Bruins once again relied on a strong third quarter, scoring three goals to take a 5-4 lead after the period. UCLA would never trail again. Hewko added two goals to the Bruin attack, while Flesher scored his third of the day in the match. Ormsby, Garcia and Peck also scored in the late game, while Peter Belden added a goal to the Bruin total. Brooks recorded seven saves in the victory.
The Bruins will not have much time to rest. After playing the last match on Day One, they will be the first team in the pool in Day Two. UCLA will face off with another MPSF opponent when they play Long Beach State at 8:00 am at USC. The winner will face the winner of the USC vs. Pepperdine match at 4:10 pm, while the loser will face the loser of the USC vs. Pepperdine match at 3:00 pm.