Nov. 25, 2011
LOS ANGELES - Cullen Hennessy's goal with 10 seconds to play in the second overtime session snapped a 4-4 tie and lifted No. 3-seed UCLA past No. 6-seed Pepperdine, 5-4, before 1,155 fans in a first-round MPSF Tournament match on Friday afternoon at the Bruins' Spieker Aquatics Center.
UCLA (21-4) tied the game, 4-4, on a goal from Griffin White with 5:19 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Neither team found the back of the cage until Hennessy scored for UCLA over 11 minutes later. UCLA's defense held Pepperdine scoreless over the final 15:56.
"We had played some of those close matches earlier this season," UCLA head coach Adam Wright said. "I knew that we would face a situation like that down the road. It happened to be in our first game of this tournament. Our defense was excellent today. We just didn't take advantage of the many opportunities that we created."
Pepperdine (12-12) led by a 3-1 margin early in the second quarter and hung to a 3-2 cushion at halftime. The Bruins tied the contest, 3-3, on a 6-on-5 goal from Paul Reynolds with 5:16 to play in the third quarter.
The Waves answered, taking a 4-3 lead on a 6-on-5 goal from Danny White with 1:56 left in the third quarter.
Both teams failed to capitalize on numerous offensive possessions in the final minutes of regulation and in overtime. UCLA goalkeeper Matt Rapacz made a crucial save on a five-meter penalty shot from Matthew DeTrane with 1:21 to play in the second overtime session.
UCLA gained possession with 26 seconds to play in the second overtime period and called a timeout. With the clock ticking, Hennessy received a pass from Reynolds two-meters from the cage and slammed the shot past goalkeeper Bence Valics in front of a roaring home crowd.
UCLA stole the ball from Pepperdine on the Waves' final possession before the buzzer sounded.
The Bruins advance to a semifinal contest on Saturday afternoon against No. 2-seed California. Game time at UCLA's Spieker Aquatics Center is 3 p.m.
"Tomorrow, we have to capitalize on those opportunities and play very sound, defensively," Wright said. "We'll have to slow their fast-paced tempo. If we can take advantage of our scoring chances, we will be fine."
Against Pepperdine on Saturday, Rapacz finished in the cage with 11 saves for UCLA. Pepperdine's Valics was credited with 15 stops, including three saves in overtime.
UCLA went 2-for-7 on power-play chances. Pepperdine converted on 3-of-7 power-play opportunities.
No. 3-seed UCLA vs. No. 6-seed Pepperdine (MPSF Tournament First Round)
Pepperdine Goals: Matthew DeTrane, James Perry, Brandon Picone, Danny White
Pepperdine Saves: Bence Valics 15