Nov. 1, 1999
UP NEXT FOR THE BRUINS: Each sharing the top spot in the United States men's water polo collegiate Top-20 poll, UCLA and Stanford will have much on the line when they clash Saturday at 3 p.m. for a non-conference match at the Sunset Canyon Recreation Center on the UCLA campus. The Bruins have won six straight games and enter the contest with a 15-2 overall record and a flawless 7-0 record in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. The Cardinal has also won its last six games and is 16-2 overall, 6-1 in MPSF action. Stanford's only conference loss came at the hands of UCLA 6-5 Sept. 25 at deGuerre Pool. Saturday's game will be the rubber match of the season series between these two teams, as Stanford defeated the Bruins 9-7 early in the season at the SoCal Tournament. UCLA remains atop the MPSF standings with Stanford trailing in second. Third-ranked USC enters the week in third place.
LAST WEEKEND'S RECAP: The Bruins continued to roll past the opposition last weekend, handing two easy losses to 10th-ranked UC Irvine 7-3 and eighth-ranked UC San Diego 12-4. Senior Matt Armato and sophomore Jeff Pflueger each scored a pair of goals, while juniors Adam Wright, Brian Brown and Sean Kern added goals of their own. Freshman goalkeeper Brandon Brooks allowed three goals and made 10 saves, keeping the Anteaters at bay. The victory marked the third time this year that the Bruins have defeated UCI. Halloween weekend continued in fine fashion, as UCLA cruised past the Tritons behind four-point performances from junior Dave Parker and Wright. Parker's four goals were a career-high, while Wright scored his second two-pointer of the season. Armato added two more goals, and Kern and redshirt freshman Matt Flesher scored as well. Brooks fought off 27 shot attempts, making eight saves and allowing four goals.
NO. 1 SEED?: With a victory over cross-town rival USC Friday, Nov. 12, the Bruins can clinch the No. 1 seed for the MPSF Championship Tournament Nov. 26-28 in Irvine. A loss could produce a three-way tie, with conference tiebreakers being the deciding factor.
STANFORD NOTES: The Cardinal jumped back to the top spot in the national poll after upsetting then No. 1 USC 5-3 Oct. 23, breaking the Trojans' nine-game winning streak. Last weekend, Stanford continued its dominance over USC by defeating the third-ranked Trojans again 7-5 on Halloween. Sean Joy scored four points to lead the Cardinal. Stanford began the weekend with a 12-8 victory over seventh-ranked Pepperdine behind a career-best five points from Joy, who was named MPSF Player of the Week. Stanford will travel to UC Santa Barbara Sunday, Nov. 7 for a conference match vs. the Gauchos following Saturday's game with UCLA. The Cardinal is coached by Dante Dettamanti, in his 23rd season at the helm of the Stanford men's water polo program. Stanford leads the all-time series 57-48.
BRUIN NOTABLES: UCLA leads the MPSF in team goalkeeping with a mere 4.59 points allowed per game and ranks fourth in team scoring with 172 points...The Bruin "big guns" Armato, Kern, and Wright continue provide the offensive spark for UCLA...Armato leads the team and ranks fourth in the MPSF with 32 points, while Kern and Wright are tied for fifth in the conference with 31 points each...Juniors Brian Brown (24), Parker (20) and Andy Bailey (10) round out Bruins scoring in double figures...Armato has scored in seven straight matches...Freshman goalkeeper Brandon Brooks has allowed an average of 4.80 points in five games and has tallied 34 saves and 11 steals...Brown leads the team with 27 steals and shares the team lead for assists with Wright (13).