Dec. 1, 2001
STANFORD, Calif. - Brett Ormsby (Fr., El Cajon/Valhalla) scored three times and Matt Flesher (Jr., Diamond Bar/Brea Olinda) dished out four assists, leading second-seed UCLA to a 7-5 victory over Loyola Marymount at the National Collegiate Championship Saturday at Avery Aquatics Center.
The Bruins (16-4) will try to claim their third consecutive men's water polo championship by defeating top-ranked Stanford (21-1) for the first time in four meetings this season Sunday at 2:30 p.m. UCLA advanced to its third straight final game for the first time since 1969-72, the first four years of NCAA competition in the sport.
LMU (14-14) will meet UMass (29-6) in the third-place match at 1 p.m. Sunday.
The Lions took the early lead on a score by freshman Steve Lipinski, but the Bruins roared back with five unanswered goals to take a 5-1 lead into halftime. Ormsby hit the mark twice in first half along with three other UCLA players -- Flesher, senior Jeff Pflueger (Santa Ana/Foothill), and Albert Garcia (So., Long Beach/Wilson).
The Bruins pulled away by converting on five of their nine power-play chances and forcing LMU into 15 turnovers. Pflueger led the defensive effort with four steals and Ormsby added two field saves.
In the second half, a penalty goal by the Lions' Kevin Witt was answered by Garcia's second tally of the match. Ormsby then completed his hat trick two minutes into the fourth quarter to give UCLA a 7-2 advantage.
LMU staged a late rally with three goals in a two-minute span to get back to 7-5 with 2:30 remaining. But UCLA goalkeeper Brandon Brooks' (Jr., Honolulu, HI/Punahou) steal on an attempted breakaway by Witt quashed the comeback.
"After losing the senior class we had the last two years, we're extremely excited to be back here playing for a national championship," Bruin head coach Adam Krikorian said.
UCLA will seek redemption against a Stanford team that has outscored the Bruins 25-13 in three previous meetings in 2001.
"[Stanford] has such a deep team that we need to make it tough and hang with them early on to have a chance," Krikorian said.
Loyola Marymount 1 0 1 3 -- 5
UCLA 2 3 1 1 -- 7
LMU - Steve Lipinski 2 (1 pen), Kevin Witt 2, Kris Barr
UCLA - Brett Ormsby 3, Albert Garcia 2, Jeff Pflueger, Matt Flesher
Goalkeepers - LMU - Kevin Paulsen (7 GA, 7 Saves), UCLA - Brandon Brooks (5 GA, 6 Saves)
Shots - LMU 17, UCLA 19
Extra-Man - LMU 2-5, UCLA 5-9