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No. 2 UCLA Men's Water Polo to Host No. 10 LMU on Saturday

Sept. 22, 2010

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LOS ANGELES - No. 2 UCLA faces No. 10 Loyola Marymount on Saturday evening (7 p.m.) in a non-conference contest under the lights at Spieker Aquatics Center. The Bruins finished second in the 16-team NorCal Tournament last weekend, defeating Stanford in the semifinals before falling to USC, 11-10, in the championship match. Saturday night's game against LMU will feature a live audio broadcast from the pool deck at UCLA - available online, free of charge, at

Saturday, Sept. 25 - 7 p.m.

No. 10 LMU (6-4) at No. 2 UCLA (4-1)
at UCLA's Spieker Aquatics Center

ON DECK: SoCal Tournament (Oct. 2-3)
Games to take place at UCLA (Spieker Aquatics Center, Sunset Canyon Recreation Center)

Senior Ben Hohl led the Bruins with nine goals at the NorCal Tournament last weekend, scoring a season-high four goals in a 10-7 win over Pacific. Freshman Cristiano Mirarchi netted seven goals in the tournament, scoring a team-leading five goals in a crucial 10-9 victory against Stanford in the semifinal round. UCLA also received five goals from junior Cullen Hennessy and sophomores Bret Lathrope and Griffin White. The Bruins finished second in the tournament for the second consecutive season.

Heading into this weekend's match against Loyola Marymount, senior Ben Hohl leads the Bruins with 12 goals. The left-handed attacker from Atherton, Calif., has scored in each of the Bruins' five matches. Hohl led UCLA with three goals in a season-opening 12-4 victory over Concordia and topped that effort with four goals in a 10-7 victory against Pacific (Sept. 18). Hohl scored 27 goals as a freshman (2007), 33 as a sophomore (2008) and 40 as a junior (2009).

Cristiano Mirarchi became UCLA's first freshman since 1997 to score five goals in one game. He accomplished the feat in a 10-9 victory over Stanford (Sept. 19) . Former All-American Sean Kern scored five goals on Sept. 7, 1997, in a 22-0 victory over Air Force at the Triton Tournament (San Diego). Mirarchi, from Rome, Italy, enters this weekend ranking second on the team with nine goals in five matches.

Over 78 percent of UCLA's scoring output from one season ago returns in 2010. The Bruins' returning letterwinners account for 240 of the team's 305 goals (78.7 pct) from the 2009 campaign. While the Bruins have lost leading scorer and 2009 MPSF Player of the Year honoree Scott Davidson (47 goals), UCLA returns key scorers Ben Hohl (40), Griffin White (33), Josh Samuels (32), Cullen Hennessy (23) and Emilio Vieira (20). Those five players accounted for 48.5 percent of UCLA's total goals in 2009.

The Bruins return 15 letterwinners this fall, losing five players to graduation. UCLA ended its 2009 campaign losing to USC, 7-6, in the NCAA championship. UCLA won the 2009 MPSF Tournament after having finished fourth in the conference's regular standings with a 5-3 record. Seniors Ben Hohl, Clay Jorth, Kevin Kuga, Jacob Murphy and Emilio Vieira will be counted upon for veteran leadership in 2010.

Seniors Ben Hohl and Jacob Murphy spent a portion of their offseason playing for the USA National Team in Europe. Hohl and Murphy both competed for Team USA at the Volvo Cup in Germany. Hohl continued his stint with the National Team during the summer, playing alongside veteran Team USA attacker Adam Wright (UCLA's second-year head coach). Hohl and Wright helped Team USA finish fourth at the annual FINA World Championships (Oradea, Romania).

Sophomores Griffin White, Josh Samuels and Bret Lathrope proved to be impact freshmen for the Bruins in 2009. White tallied 33 goals, the highest single-season freshman total since Brett Ormsby logged 41 goals as a freshman in 2001. Samuels finished just behind White with 32 goals, while Lathrope saw action in all 30 games and netted 11 goals. Lathrope, Samuels, White and redshirt freshman Chris Wendt spent the summer playing for the USA Junior National Team at the Pan American Games in Pinecrest, Fla.

Three players on the Bruins' 2010 roster arrive at UCLA after having grown up outside the United States. Senior Emilio Vieira hails from Sao Paulo, Brazil, and spent two years studying at Golden West College (Huntington Beach, Calif.) before enrolling at UCLA in 2009. Freshmen Aimone Barabino and Cristiano Mirarchi call Italy home. Barabino, from Recco, Italy, spent the 2009-10 school year in New York City, attending La Scuola d'Italia, while Mirarchi attended high school in his hometown of Rome.

As released by the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) on Sept. 22, UCLA has been tabbed No. 2 in the national top-20 rankings. USC is ranked No. 1 in this week's poll, while California, Stanford and UC Santa Barbara complete the top five picks, respectively. UC Irvine, Pacific, Long Beach State, Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount round out the top 10 preseason selections, respectively.

UCLA will host the SoCal Tournament for the first time in school history the weekend of Oct. 2-3. The Bruins will use its pools at Spieker Aquatics Center and Sunset Canyon Recreation Center (the two facilities are adjacent). UCLA will open its tournament schedule against No. 17 Princeton on Saturday, Oct. 2 at 8:30 a.m. (Spieker Aquatics Center).

Adam Wright begins his second year as UCLA's head coach. The four-year Bruin letterwinner (1997-2000) and a 2001 graduate of UCLA helped lead the Bruins to a 23-7 record and MPSF Tournament title in his first season as the program's head coach (2009). Wright represented the United States on the men's national team at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, leading Team USA to the silver medal in 2008.

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