Nov. 27, 2009
LOS ANGELES - Senior goalkeeper Chay Lapin registered nine saves, including two fourth-quarter penalty shot attempts, to lead the No. 4-seed UCLA men's water polo team past No. 5-seed Pepperdine, 8-5, on Friday afternoon in a first-round MPSF Tournament match at USC's McDonald's Swim Stadium.
The victory propels UCLA into a semifinal contest against No. 1-seed and tournament host USC on Saturday. Game time of Saturday's semifinal is 1 p.m.
Junior Ben Hohl paced UCLA with three goals, and senior Scott Davidson added two for the Bruins (20-6). UCLA also received one goal from junior Emilio Vieira and freshmen Clinton Jorth and Josh Samuels.
Pepperdine (12-11) was led by three goals from Clayton Snyder and received two goals from Brett Auer.
After a scoreless first quarter, the Bruins scored the game's first goal and led the rest of the way. UCLA opened a 3-0 scoring run midway through the second frame. Davidson found the back of the cage with 6:59 to play in the first half before Jorth (6:01) and Vieira (5:30) scored to push UCLA's margin to three goals.
Snyder scored his first of three goals with 3:13 to play before halftime, and UCLA answered with 10 seconds remaining on a strike from Samuels to lead by a 4-1 margin at the break.
Hohl scored 50 seconds into the third quarter, pushing the Bruins' cushion to 5-1. Pepperdine answered with a 3-0 scoring run, trimming UCLA's advantage to 5-4 with 5:01 to play in the third quarter.
UCLA regained its four-goal cushion with two goals from Hohl (2:29, 1:32) in the third period and one strike from Davidson with 3:50 remaining in the final quarter. Pepperdine closed its deficit to three goals with a goal from Auer at the 2:27 mark in the final frame.
Pepperdine goalkeeper Tommy O'Connell finished with 10 saves in the cage.
With his goal at the 6:59 mark in the second quarter, Davidson moved into sole possession of fifth place on UCLA's career goals scored list (145), surpassing recent Bruin graduate Krsto Sbutega (143). Chay Lapin climbed into sole possession of third place on the school's career saves list (689).
Fans are encouraged to arrive early for Saturday's semifinal match at McDonald's Swim Stadium. Heavy traffic around the USC campus is expected, as UCLA faces USC in football at the L.A. Coliseum that evening (7 p.m.). Parking for the water polo match is available through Gate 8 on Jefferson Boulevard (east of Vermont Avenue).
No. 5-seed Pepperdine vs. No. 4-seed UCLA
Pepperdine Goals: Clayton Snyder 3, Brett Auer 2
Pepperdine Saves: Tommy O'Connell 10