Nov. 15, 2009
LOS ANGELES - The No. 4 UCLA men's water polo team defeated No. 10 UC Santa Barbara, 9-7, in its final regular-season game on Sunday afternoon, clinching the No. 4 seed at the season-culminating MPSF Tournament. The Bruins (19-6, 5-3 MPSF) received two goals each from senior Scott Davidson, junior Ben Hohl and freshman Griffin White.
Davidson's two-goal effort on "Senior Day" at Spieker Aquatics Center pushed his career total to 143 goals, tied for fifth place on UCLA's career goals list with recent Bruin graduate Krsto Sbutega.
Senior goalkeeper Chay Lapin registered seven saves, extending his career total to 680 saves, moving into a tie for third place on the school's career list with Dan Hackett.
UC Santa Barbara (12-13, 1-6 MPSF) was led by Zsombor Vincze's game-high four goals. The visiting Gauchos also received one pair of goals from Milos Golic and one goal from Noah Smith.
The MPSF contest was a one-goal affair for much of the first half. The Bruins raced to a 2-0 lead in the first three minutes on goals from Hohl (6:30) and White (5:05) before UC Santa Barbara knotted the margin, 2-2, with 2:53 remaining in the opening period. Both teams exchanged goals in the final two minutes of the first quarter, tying the contest at 3-3 after eight minutes.
UC Santa Barbara claimed its first and only lead with a goal from Vincze, two minutes into the second quarter, handing the Gauchos a 4-3 cushion. After an extra-man goal from Hohl at 5:36, UCLA followed with another goal on a 6-on-5 opportunity from Davidson, handing the Bruins a 5-4 advantage.
Vincze capitalized on a 6-on-5 opportunity to tie the contest at 5-5 with 2:54 remaining in the first half. UCLA claimed a 6-5 halftime lead on a goal from freshman Bret Lathrope with 2:10 to play in the second quarter.
UCLA outscored UC Santa Barbara in the final two quarters by a 3-2 tally, leading by as many as three goals on two occasions. Following sophomore Cullen Hennessy's goal at 6:36 in the third quarter, the Bruins never led by fewer than two goals.
UC Santa Barbara goalkeeper Fraser Bunn finished with five stops in the cage.
Sunday's MPSF contest marked the final regular-season game for UCLA's five seniors - Cole Consani, Scott Davidson, Tyler Jemmett, Chay Lapin and Scott Swanson. Each senior was honored during a special pregame ceremony on the deck at Dirks Pool.
With the victory, UCLA secured the No. 4 seed in the upcoming MPSF Tournament. The Bruins will face the conference's No. 5 seed at USC's McDonald's Swim Stadium on Friday, Nov. 27 at 3 p.m.
No. 10 UC Santa Barbara vs. No. 4 UCLA
|UC Santa Barbara||3||2||1||1||7|
UC Santa Barbara Goals: Zsombor Vincze 4, Milos Golic 2, Noah Smith
UC Santa Barbara Saves: Fraser Bunn 5