Nov. 28, 2008
MALIBU, Calif. - Junior Scott Davidson and sophomore Ben Hohl each scored three goals to help lead the No. 4-seed UCLA men's water polo team past No. 5-seed California, 11-8, Friday afternoon in an MPSF Tournament first-round match at Pepperdine's Raleigh Runnels Memorial Pool.
UCLA junior goalkeeper Chay Lapin registered 14 saves, helping the Bruins' defense limit the Golden Bears (18-8) to just three second-half goals.
The Bruins will face top-seeded USC (25-0) on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. in one of two MPSF Tournament semifinal matches. The winner of Saturday's UCLA-USC contest will face either No. 2-seed Stanford (23-4) or No. 3-seed Pepperdine (20-6) in the MPSF Tournament championship match on Sunday at 3:30 p.m.
Senior Krsto Sbutega added a pair of goals for UCLA (16-6). Sbutega recorded his team-leading 45th and 46th goals of the season and moved into sixth place on UCLA's career goals scored list (139), surpassing current assistant coach Adam Wright (138).
California was led by two goals each from Ivan Rackov and Luka Saponjic. Goalkeeper Jacob McIntosh registered six saves for the Golden Bears.
The Bruins never trailed against California on Friday afternoon. UCLA scored the game's first goal, a skip shot by Davidson with 5:39 to play in the first quarter, before California's Ivan Rackov tied the contest with 4:21 remaining in the opening period.
UCLA led by as many as two goals twice in the first quarter - 3-1 at the 3:25 mark and 4-2 with 38 seconds remaining. The Bruins owned a 4-3 advantage after one quarter.
California twice tied the contest in the first two minutes of the second quarter. Rackov knotted the contest, 4-4, with 6:59 to play before halftime, and California's Mike Sample scored at the 6:15 mark to tie the game, 5-5, after a goal by Sbutega (6:40).
UCLA closed the second quarter on a 3-0 scoring run to pull away with an 8-5 halftime lead.
After a 6-on-5 goal by California's Luka Saponjic with 7:30 to play in the third quarter, the Bruins received back-to-back goals from Hohl and junior Scott Swanson to assume a 10-6 advantage, UCLA's largest margin of the MPSF Tournament first-round match.
UCLA won by its largest margin against California since downing the Golden Bears, 7-4, in an MPSF match on Oct. 8, 2005.
No. 4-seed UCLA vs. No. 5-seed California (MPSF Tournament - First-Round Match)
California Goals: Ivan Rackov 2, Luca Saponjic 2, Brian Dudley, Mike Sample, Charles Steffens, Spencer Warden
California Saves: Jacob McIntosh 6