Oct. 16, 2009
LOS ANGELES - The No. 4 UCLA men's water polo dropped a 7-6 decision to No. 2 California in an MPSF contest at Spieker Aquatics Center on Friday evening. Senior Scott Davidson and junior Ben Hohl each registered two goals for the Bruins (12-5, 0-2 MPSF), who nearly overcame a late three-goal deficit.
Ivan Rackov led the visiting Golden Bears (12-4, 1-1 MPSF) with a game-high three goals.
California jumped to a 2-0 lead through the game's first four minutes, as Rackov scored at the 5:52 and 4:54 marks in the first quarter. UCLA sliced the Golden Bears' cushion in half with a strike from senior Cole Consani at 3:47.
Playing under the lights before a standing-room only crowd (attendance 869), the Bruins tied the contest by halftime on a goal from Hohl with 1:34 to play in the second quarter.
California twice assumed a three-goal advantage in the third quarter - at 2:41 (5-2) and at 1:36 (6-3). The Golden Bears took advantage of goals from Charlie Steffens (7:13), Rackov (5:21) and Luka Saponjic (2:41) to open a 5-2 lead. After Davidson converted for the Bruins on a 6-on-5 opportunity (2:14), California's Spencer Warden scored the first of his two goals with 96 seconds remaining in the third period.
Hohl's second goal came with 16 seconds to go in the quarter, trimming the Golden Bears' lead to 6-4.
California held off a late UCLA rally in the final frame. Warden scored on a penalty shot with 7:28 to play in the match, pushing the Golden Bears' margin to 7-4.
UCLA answered with an extra-man goal from freshman Griffin White with 3:34 remaining. Davidson scored his second goal of the evening as a power play came to an end with 26 seconds to go in the contest, cutting the Bruins' deficit to 7-6. UCLA was unable to regain possession before the final buzzer sounded.
The Bruins return to action at No. 6 Loyola Marymount in a non-conference match on Thursday, Oct. 22. Game time at LMU's Burns Recreation and Aquatics Center is 3 p.m.
No. 2 California at No. 4 UCLA
California Goals: Ivan Rackov 3, Spencer Warden 2, Luka Saponjic, Charlie Steffens
California Saves: Wil Toppen 9