Oct. 21, 2006
Los Angeles - The third-ranked UCLA men's water polo team fell to top-ranked USC, 9-8, in sudden-death overtime before a capacity crowd Saturday afternoon at USC's McDonald's Swim Stadium. The Bruins received two goals apiece from senior Logan Powell, junior Justin Johnson and sophomore Krsto Sbutega in the MPSF conference game.
Junior Thomas Hale netted the game-winning goal for the Trojans (16-0, 4-0 MPSF) with 1:47 remaining in a third (and sudden death) overtime period to lift top-ranked USC past the Bruins (9-4, 1-1 MPSF). In what became a tale of two halves, both teams exchanged goals back and forth through the fourth quarter and second overtime session.
USC led 3-2 after one period and opened its advantage to 6-3 with 7:06 remaining in the third quarter. Yet the Bruins slowly chipped away. Johnson cut the deficit 6-4 at 1:46 in the third quarter before Sbutega scored on a lob over Trojan goalkeeper Adam Shilling's left shoulder at 1:09.
Trailing 6-5 after three quarters, Sbutega scored his second goal of the day with 3:42 to play in the fourth quarter. Powell propelled UCLA to its first lead of the afternoon with a goal at 2:50. The Trojans answered just 41 seconds later on a strike from junior Tommy Corcoran, tying the game 7-7 and forcing two three-minute overtime periods.
Neither team found the back of the cage in the first overtime session; however, the Trojans reclaimed the lead with 1:13 to play in the second overtime period on a goal by senior Juan Delgadillo, his second of the day. Johnson answered with a goal for the Bruins at 0:41, tying the contest, 8-8.
In sudden-death overtime, USC took advantage of a 6-on-5 opportunity to defeat UCLA. Hale's game-winning goal helped extend USC's 35-game win streak and marked their third-consecutive victory over UCLA. The Trojans also defeated the Bruins, 7-6, on Sept. 17 in a NorCal Tournament semifinal contest.
UCLA freshman goalkeeper Chay Lapin posted nine saves in his second contest against the Trojans. USC's Shilling made eight stops in the cage.
The Bruins are back in action Saturday, Oct. 28, when they play at Loyola Marymount in a non-conference tilt. Game time is 12 p.m.
No. 3 UCLA (9-4) at No. 1 USC (16-0)
USC Goals: Thomas Hale 2, Juan Delgadillo 2, J.W. Krumpholz 2, Pavol Valovic, Anthony Artukovich, Tommy Corcoran
USC Saves: Adam Shilling 8