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Water Polo NCAA Champs
 

No. 3 UCLA to Open Home Slate Against No. 6 UC Irvine
Courtesy: UCLA Athletics  
Release:  09/20/2007

Sept. 20, 2007

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THIS WEEK
Saturday, Sept. 22 - 1 p.m (Sunset Canyon Recreation Center)
No. 6 UC Irvine at No. 3 UCLA

BRUINS FINISH THIRD: For the second consecutive season, UCLA finished third at the NorCal Tournament. The Bruins registered wins over Santa Clara (15-4), Pepperdine (7-5, OT) and Stanford (13-9). Junior Krsto Sbutega led UCLA with nine goals, as seniors Justin Johnson and Matthew Jacobs each tallied four goals.

SBUTEGAN SENSATION: Junior Krsto Sbutega, a product of Kotor, Montenegro, had an impressive weekend at California, totaling nine goals in four games. Sbutega, a mechanical engineering major and two-time Academic All-America selection, scored a season-best four goals for the fifth time in his career.

ABOUT THE ANTEATERS: Last year, the Bruins posted a 2-0 record against UC Irvine. The Bruins own a 59-58-1 lifetime record against the Anteaters. UCLA has won 12 of its last 13 matches against UC Irvine - the Bruins lost, 8-7, in Irvine on Nov. 10, 2005. The Anteaters play against UC Santa Barbara on Thursday, Sept. 20, after having finished sixth at the NorCal Tournament last weekend.

GOT THEIR NUMBER: UCLA last lost to Stanford on Oct. 29, 2005. Since then, the Bruins have reeled off five consecutive victories against their conference foe. Last season, UCLA won four games against the Cardinal for the first time in program history. Over the weekend, the Bruins downed Stanford, 13-9, marking UCLA's largest margin of victory over the Cardinal since a 10-3 win on Nov. 4, 2000.

BACK IN ACTION: The Bruins return two of their top three goal scorers from one year ago - junior Krsto Sbutega and senior Marco Santos. Sbutega tallied 30 goals last fall, and Santos recorded 27 goals. Other offensive threats returning this fall include sophomore Scott Davidson (22) and seniors Justin Johnson (15) and Matthew Jacobs (13).

HOME SWEET HOME: After playing just three games at the Sunset Canyon Recreation Center last fall, the Bruins will host five matches at home this season in addition to two games at the Rose Bowl Aquatic Center (prior to football games). In addition to this weekend's match versus UC Irvine, UCLA will also host Pacific, USC, UC Santa Barbara and Pepperdine. UCLA will play Brown and Cal at the Rose Bowl Aquatic Center.

IN THE CAGE: Sophomore goalkeeper Chay Lapin has posted a 6.33 goals against average in six games (198 minutes), totaling 48 saves. Lapin logged a season-best 12 saves at Loyola Marymount in UCLA's season opening 8-6 win. Senior Matt Kellogg has logged a 3.50 goals against average and 16 saves in two matches. Kellogg recorded a season-best 10 saves in a 15-4 victory over Santa Clara (Sept. 15).

MIDDLE MAN: Senior Marco Santos looks to provide the Bruins with a strong offensive threat at the center position. Through the Bruins' first eight games, Santos has scored nine goals (tied for second most on the squad). Last season, Santos scored 27 goals on 63 attempts and led UCLA with 36 earned exclusions. Santos finished the 2006 season having captured honorable mention All-America accolades.

REPRESENTIN': Redshirt sophomores Chay Lapin and Scott Davidson spent a portion of the summer competing in Europe for the U.S. Junior National Men's Water Polo Team. Both Bruins returned home in August to lead Team USA to a sixth-place finish at the 2007 FINA Junior World Championships in Los Alamitos, Calif. While in Europe, Lapin was named the outstanding goalkeeper of the Tatras Cup in Slovakia.

EQUALLY IMPRESSIVE: Sophomore Scott Davidson has started the Bruins' 2007 campaign in impressive style. The Seal Beach, Calif., resident leads the team with 10 goals. Davidson scored two goals in each of UCLA's first four games. Most recently, he scored two goals at the NorCal Tournament. One year ago, Davidson netted 22 goals on 51 attempts.

AT THE HELM: In his ninth season as head coach of the men's water polo team, Adam Krikorian has tallied an impressive 162-48 career record at UCLA, his alma mater (class of 1997), while leading the Bruins to three NCAA titles. He has also served as the women's water polo head coach for nine seasons, guiding the women to six national titles. Krikorian played water polo for the Bruins from 1992-95, helping lead the 1995 squad to its first NCAA championship since 1972.


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