Oct. 24, 2007
Sunday, Oct. 28 - 1 p.m.
No. 3 UCLA vs. No. 1 USC
UCLA's Sunset Canyon Recreation Center
WHAT'S NEXT: The No. 3 UCLA men's water polo team faces No. 1 USC on Sunday, Oct. 28, at Sunset Canyon Recreation Center. The Bruins look to snap a four-game losing streak to the Trojans, as UCLA last defeated its crosstown rival, 6-4, on Nov. 13, 2004 at USC. Both teams met earlier this season, as the Trojans downed the Bruins, 7-6, in a SoCal Tournament semifinal match on Oct. 14.
UP FOR GRABS: The winner of Sunday's match will earn 2.5 points in the Lexus Gauntlet Challenege, a yearly competition between UCLA and USC based on the results in 18 sports. The winner of the men's water polo season series (postseason included) earns five Lexus Gauntlet points. USC picked up 2.5 points with its 7-6 win over UCLA two weeks ago.
SPLIT DECISION: UCLA split its two weekend matches, losing to California, 8-7, on Saturday before rebounding with a 16-6 victory over Pacific on Sunday. Sophomore Scott Davidson led all Bruins with five goals in two matches. Davidson scored two goals against Cal and netted three goals versus Pacific. With the win over the Tigers, UCLA evened its MPSF record to 2-2. Six of the MPSF's nine teams stand within one game of each other in the standings.
SCORING DEPTH: Through 20 games, 12 Bruins have scored 10 or more goals. Four Bruins have logged 20 or more goals as sophomore Scott Davidson leads the way with 30. Seniors Justin Johnson (25) and Marco Santos (23), junior Krsto Sbutega (20) and freshman Ben Hohl (18) round out the top five goal scorers.
CAPTAIN IN THE WATER: Through 78 career matches, senior team captain Justin Johnson has scored 67 goals, including 25 this fall. Johnson has registered at least one goal in 17 of UCLA's 20 matches this season and has tallied five multiple-goal efforts. The Mission Viejo, Calif., resident scored the game-winning goal in sudden-victory overtime against UC Irvine (Sept. 22) handing UCLA a 12-11 win.
30 AND COUNTING: Sophomore Scott Davidson became the first Bruin this season to eclipse the 30-goal mark when he found the back of the cage twice against Pacific (Oct. 21). Last season, two Bruins (Logan Powell, 34, and Krsto Sbutega, 30) finished the year with at least 30 goals. This season, the Seal Beach, Calif., native has totaled a team-leading nine multiple-goal efforts, including one five-goal game.
SBUTEGAN SENSATION: Junior Krsto Sbutega, a product of Kotor, Montenegro, has recorded 18 goals in 14 contests. Sbutega, a mechanical engineering major and two-time Academic All-America selection, scored four goals in the third-place contest against Stanford (Sept. 16) and against Santa Clara (Sept. 30) at UC Santa Cruz. Sbutega will be featured this Wednesday, Oct. 24, on The Lexus Gauntlet Show (FSN Prime Ticket, 10:30 p.m.).
LIGHT IT UP: Ben Hohl has exhibited an impressive freshman campaign, having scored 18 goals in 20 matches. Hohl began the season scoring a team-high three goals in UCLA's 8-6 season-opening win against Loyola Marymount. Including that match, Hohl has recorded five multiple-goal efforts, including another three-goal output against Pacific (Oct. 13). Hohl currently leads all freshmen on the team with 18 goals.
IN THE CAGE: Sophomore goalkeeper Chay Lapin has posted a 6.79 goals against average in 14 games (461:31 minutes), totaling 124 saves. Lapin recorded a season-high and tied his career-high with 13 saves at UC Irvine (Oct. 5). Senior Matt Kellogg has registered a 4.67 goals against average, totaling 39 saves in six matches. Sophomore Alex Lawrence has made two stops in two games.
HOME SWEET HOME: The Bruins will host three more matches at home this season. UCLA will host USC (Oct. 28), UC Santa Barbara (Nov. 10) and Pepperdine (Nov. 17). The Bruins defeated UC Irvine, 12-11, in their home opener (Sept. 22). The Bruins played two home matches at the Rose Bowl Aquatic Center. UCLA defeated Brown, 16-4, on Oct. 6 and fell to California, 8-7, on Oct. 20.
AT THE HELM: In his ninth season as head coach of the men's water polo team, Adam Krikorian has tallied an impressive 170-52 career record at UCLA, his alma mater (class of 1997), while leading the Bruins to three NCAA titles. He has also served as the women's water polo head coach for nine seasons, guiding the women to six national titles. Krikorian played water polo for the Bruins from 1992-95, helping lead the 1995 squad to its first NCAA championship since 1972.