Nov. 22, 2006
No. 3 seed UCLA (also nationally-ranked No. 3) plays No. 6 seed Pacific on Friday, Nov. 24 in a first-round MPSF Tournament game at UC Irvine at 1 p.m. In both teams' only meeting this season (Nov. 5), UCLA defeated Pacific, 11-6, in Stockton, Calif. The winner of the UCLA-Pacific match will play the winner of the No. 2 California vs. No. 7 Long Beach State contest at 2:30 p.m. Saturday. The loser will play the California-Long Beach State loser at 11:30 a.m. Saturday.
HOW WE GOT HERE: The Bruins finished the regular-season with a 6-2 MPSF conference record, as did California. The Golden Bears earned the No. 2 seed over UCLA by virtue of a tiebreaker; California beat UCLA, 8-7, in the two teams' regular-season MPSF contest Nov. 4 in Berkeley, Calif. UCLA finished third in the MPSF conference and posted a 15-5 regular season record.
MOST RECENTLY: Last weekend, the third-ranked Bruins defeated Long Beach State, 17-4, and UC Irvine, 8-5, at the Sunset Canyon Recreation Center. Senior Michael March scored five goals through both games - three against Long Beach State on Friday and two versus UC Irvine on Sunday. Senior Logan Powell totaled four goals in Friday's victory over the Beach. Junior Matthew Jacobs and sophomore Krsto Sbutega each added one goal against Long Beach State and recorded two versus the Anteaters.
MANY GAMES, MANY GOALS: Junior Marco Santos has scored in 15 of UCLA's 20 matches this season and has tallied at least one goal in 12 of the Bruins' last 14 games. Sophomore Krsto Sbutega has scored in 13 games this season. Three players - seniors Michael March, Logan Powell and Grant Zider - have each found the back of the cage in 12 contests. March has scored in six of UCLA's last seven matches (eight goals).
IN THE CAGE: Freshman Chay Lapin has posted a 5.00 goals against average, totaling 94 saves in 13 games (7.2 saves per game). The Long Beach, Calif., native registered a career-best 13 saves against Stanford on Oct. 14 in the SoCal Tournament. Senior Will Didinger has tallied a 5.33 goals against average and 52 saves in nine games. UCLA's goalkeeping unit has limited opponents to 114 goals through 20 games (5.70 GAA) while totaling 154 saves (7.7 saves per game).
POWELL IN THE LEAD: Senior Logan Powell took the team lead for goals scored two weeks ago and has totaled 29 to date. Powell has notched two five-goal performances and one four-goal effort. The senior attacker earned co-MPSF Mikasa Player of the Week honors for his performance two weeks ago (wins at Pepperdine, UC Santa Barbara). He has recorded nine multiple-goal games.
BALANCED ATTACK: Four Bruins registered 20 goals or more during the regular season. Senior Logan Powell (29), sophomore Krsto Sbutega (26), junior Marco Santos (24) and senior Michael March (20) lead the team in that category. UCLA's top four scorers have accounted for 45.8 percent of the Bruins' goals this season (99/216).
THREES ALL AROUND: Not only did UCLA grab a No. 3 seed in the MPSF Tournament, but the Bruins have virtually been ranked third in the national poll all season long. Aside from a No. 4 ranking in week six, UCLA has maintained the No. 3 spot all season. The Bruins also won three games in the 2006 SoCal Tournament and NorCal Tournament to finished third in both tournaments. Likewise, UCLA earned a No. 3 rank in the MPSF preseason poll.
HEAD COACH Adam Krikorian: In his eighth season as head coach of the men's water polo team, Adam Krikorian has tallied an impressive 153-46 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 eight seasons, guiding the women to five national titles. Krikorian played water polo for the Bruins from 1992-95, helping lead the 1995 squad to its first NCAA championship since 1972. Throughout his coaching career, Krikorian has coached 39 All-Americans (selected 69 times) and four Olympians.