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Water Polo NCAA Champs
 

Third-Ranked UCLA to Play at No. 8 Loyola Marymount
Courtesy: UCLA Athletics  
Release:  10/26/2006

Oct. 26, 2006

Complete release in PDF format

Third-ranked UCLA will play at eighth-ranked Loyola Marymount on Saturday, Oct. 28 at 12 p.m. Last season, the Bruins downed the Lions, 10-5, to maintain their perfect 14-0 all-time record against LMU. Last season, the Lions advanced to the NCAA Final Four and took third place in the tournament. The following weekend, the Bruins will travel to play at California (Saturday, Nov. 4) and at Pacific (Sunday, Nov. 5).

LAST WEEKEND: In their second meeting of the season, UCLA and crosstown-rival USC battled into sudden-death overtime on Saturday, Oct. 21. The Bruins fell, 9-8, despite clawing their way out of a 6-3, third-quarter deficit. UCLA used a 4-0 scoring run in the second half to lead 7-6. USC tied the game with 2:09 remaining in regulation. Tied 7-7 in the second extra session, USC and UCLA exchanged goals to send the contest into sudden-death overtime where the Trojans' Thomas Hale netted the game-winning score.

SEVEN UP: With one October contest left on the schedule, UCLA has just seven games remaining on the regular-season slate before the season-culminating MPSF Championships from Nov. 24-26. Last season, the Bruins totaled a 13-4 record against the seven teams UCLA will face over the final month of this season. The Bruins lost to California, 8-6, on Sunday, Oct. 15, and defeated UC Irvine, 15-4, on Sept. 22 in Irvine.

IN THE CAGE: Freshman Chay Lapin has posted an impressive 5.14 goals against average and totaled 49 saves in seven games. Last Saturday, Lapin made nine saves against top-ranked USC. At the SoCal Tournament, Lapin totaled a career-best 13 stops against Stanford (W, 9-6) and 10 saves versus UC San Diego (W, 12-3). Senior Will Didinger has tallied a 5.86 goals against average and collected 40 saves in seven games. UCLA's goalkeeping unit has limited opponents to 77 goals through 13 games while totaling 91 saves.

KRSTO LEADS THE WAY: Sophomore Krsto Sbutega scored two goals against USC on Oct. 21, marking the sixth time this season that he has posted a multiple-goal performance. He leads the Bruins with 19 goals. This season, he has registered two four-goal efforts (vs. Princeton, Sept. 16; at UC Irvine, Sept. 22).

BALANCED ATTACK: Six Bruins have registered 10 goals or more through the season's first 12 games. Sophomore Krsto Sbutega (19), senior Logan Powell (17), junior Marco Santos (16) and senior Grant Zider (14) lead the team in that category. UCLA's top four scorers have accounted for 47 percent of the Bruins' goals this season (66/141). The Bruins' two other double-digit goal scorers are freshman Scott Davidson (12) and junior Justin Johnson (10).

THREES ALL AROUND: Not only did UCLA win three games in the 2006 SoCal Tournament, but the Bruins also won three games in September's NorCal Tournament. UCLA finished third at both major tournaments this season. The Bruins have been ranked third in five of six Top-20 polls this season (No. 4 in week five). UCLA earned a No. 3 rank in the MPSF preseason poll.

AT THE HELM: In his eighth season as head coach of the men's water polo team, Adam Krikorian has tallied an impressive 147-45 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.

FRESH MEN: Four Bruin freshmen have posted impressive debuts this season. Chay Lapin has recorded 49 saves in the cage. Scott Davidson ranks fifth on the squad with 12 goals. Kevin Kuga is seventh on the list with nine goals, and Scott Swanson has registered four goals.

HOME, SWEET HOME: The Sunset Canyon Recreation Center at UCLA enters its 42nd year as the home of Bruin water polo, and UCLA has played two matches at the Rose Bowl Aquatics Center. The Bruins own a 2-0 record in home matches this season (wins over Cal Baptist, 21-3, and Stanford, 10-8). UCLA has two more regular-season games at the Sunset Canyon Recreation Center (Nov. 17 vs. Long Beach State; Nov. 19 vs. UC Irvine).


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