Oct. 7, 2011
LOS ANGELES - The No. 3 UCLA men's water polo team dropped an 8-5 decision to No. 2 California in both teams' first MPSF contest of the fall. The Bruins (10-3, 0-1 MPSF) received two goals from Josh Samuels.
Playing before a capacity crowd at UCLA's Spieker Aquatics Center, the Bruins fell behind in the third quarter, getting outscored in that frame by a 4-1 margin, and could not recover.
California (12-2, 1-0) was led by two goals each from Zach Greenwood and Ivan Rackov.
"We weren't disciplined tonight," head coach Adam Wright said. "You can't give the other team four straight goals like we did in the third quarter. We had opportunities on the extra-man [plays], but we have to go back and try something different. Our 6-on-5 was not good. We need to look at this loss as a bump in the road, because we still have a long ways to go with our season."
After overcoming three one-goal deficits in the first half, UCLA came out of a 3-3 halftime deadlock by securing its first lead of the game. Chris Wendt found the back of the net with 7:11 remaining in the third quarter to hand the Bruins a 4-3 advantage.
California answered with four consecutive goals in a span of 3:17 to assume a 7-4 cushion. The Golden Bears received goals from Rackov on a penalty shot (6:18), Luka Saponjic (5:14), Greenwood (4:06) and again from Rackov on a power-play opportunity (3:01).
Each team traded one goal in the final quarter, as California claimed the 8-5 win.
One of UCLA's most impressive shots of the season came as time expired in the second quarter. With one second remaining on the clock before halftime, Josh Samuels took a shot from beyond half pool that bounced into the back of the cage past California goalkeeper Justin Parsons. Samuels shot tied the contest, 3-3.
Parsons finished with 11 saves in goal for California. UCLA goalkeeper Matt Rapacz recorded four stops.
UCLA returns to action at No. 7 UC Irvine on Sunday. Game time at Anteater Aquatics Complex is 12 p.m.
No. 3 California vs. No. 2 UCLA
California Goals: Zach Greenwood 2, Ivan Rackov 2, Marin Balarin, Blake Kelly, Aleksa Saponjic, Charlie Steffens
California Saves: Justin Parsons 11