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No. 2 UCLA Men's Water Polo Defeats No. 5 Pepperdine, 11-7

Sept. 23, 2011

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LOS ANGELES - Griffin White scored a team-leading three goals to lead the No. 2 UCLA men's water polo team past No. 5 Pepperdine, 11-7, in a non-conference match at Spieker Aquatics Center on Friday night.

UCLA (6-1) allowed just one goal in the first half, using a 5-0 scoring run to assume a 5-1 cushion at halftime. The Bruins finished the game having limited Pepperdine to two goals in 11 power-play chances.

"Every chance that Pepperdine had to get some momentum, we came up with some great stops," head coach Adam Wright said. "We had some strong field blocks and saves from [Matt] Rapacz. That can really take the life out of a team if you have trouble scoring in 6-on-5 opportunities. It was good to see us make those defensive stops."

UCLA, which returns to action on Saturday at Loyola Marymount, also received two goals each from Brett Hays and Josh Samuels.

"We play another game at Loyola Marymount tomorrow, and we expect a tough match and a great crowd," Wright said. "We've always played them tight, back to the NCAA Tournament match in 2009. You're talking about one-goal games against a tough team. They'll be very motivated to play us. We have to be ready."

In Friday evening's match, Pepperdine's Andrew Milcovich led the Waves (6-2) with three goals.

The Bruins trailed 1-0 after Pepperdine's Nathan Castillo extra-man goal at 6:03 in the first quarter, before using a 5-0 scoring run to close the first half. White scored on a penalty shot with 5:03 to play in the opening quarter to tie the game, 1-1, before UCLA closed the first period with goals from Hays (1:56) and White (1:04).

In the second quarter, the Bruins outscored Pepperdine, 2-0. UCLA received goals from Cullen Hennessy (6:40) and Samuels (2:47). Hennessy's goal came off a perfectly-placed mid-pool assist from Samuels.

UCLA extended its lead to as many as seven goals (11-4) midway into the fourth quarter. The Bruins led by an 8-3 margin after three quarters. In the final frame, Alex Wherry put UCLA ahead, 9-4, at the 6:49 mark. The Bruins also added goals from White (6:11) and Daniel Lenhart (4:20), who nailed a five-meter penalty shot.

Pepperdine added three goals in the game's final three minutes.

UCLA goalkeeper Matt Rapacz netted nine saves and allowed four goals, playing until the 3:35 mark in the fourth quarter. Stephen White entered in the fourth quarter, making one save and allowing three goals.

Pepperdine's Bence Valics tallied five stops in the cage for the visiting Waves.

UCLA returns to action at No. 11 Loyola Marymount (5-2) on Saturday. Game time at the Lions' Burns Aquatics Center is slated for 2 p.m.

No. 5 Pepperdine at No. 2 UCLA (non-conference match)

1 2 3 4 F
Pepperdine 1 0 2 4 7
UCLA 3 2 3 3 11

Pepperdine Goals: Andrew Milcovich 3, Matthew DeTrane 2, Nathan Castillo, Stephen Loomis
Pepperdine Saves: Bence Valics 5

UCLA Goals: Griffin White 3, Brett Hays 2, Josh Samuels 2, Cullen Hennessy, Daniel Lenhart, Paul Reynolds, Alex Wherry
UCLA Saves: Matt Rapacz 9, Stephen White 1

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