Nov. 7, 2007
LOS ANGELES - The No. 3 UCLA men's water polo team returns home to face No. 7 UC Santa Barbara (17-10, 2-3 MPSF) on Saturday, Nov. 10. The Bruins look to win their fourth consecutive game and improve upon their 3-2 MPSF record. One year ago, UCLA defeated UC Santa Barbara in overtime, 7-6, in Santa Barbara, Calif.
No. 7 UC Santa Barbara (17-10, 2-3 MPSF) at No. 3 UCLA (17-5, 3-2 MPSF)
Saturday, Nov. 10 - 1 p.m.
UCLA's Sunset Canyon Recreation Center
BRUINS BEAT TRITONS: The Bruins registered a 14-6 victory over non-conference foe UC San Diego on Saturday evening at UCSD's Canyonview Pool. Sophomore Scott Swanson led UCLA with three goals, as Tyler Jemmett, Clay Jorth and Marco Santos each scored two goals. The win improved UCLA's career record against the Tritons to 45-1.
SCORING DEPTH: Through 22 games, 13 Bruins have scored 10 or more goals. Four Bruins have logged 20 or more goals as sophomore Scott Davidson leads the way with 33. Seniors Justin Johnson (26) and Marco Santos (26) and junior Krsto Sbutega (22) round out the top four goal scorers.
30 AND COUNTING: Sophomore Scott Davidson became the first Bruin this season to eclipse the 30-goal mark when he found the back of the cage twice against Pacific (Oct. 21). In UCLA's 9-5 victory over USC, Davidson scored two goals, marking his 10th multi-goal effort of the season. Including last weekend's win at UC San Diego, Davidson has scored in each of UCLA's last eight matches (15 goals).
CAPTAIN IN THE WATER: Through 80 career matches, senior team captain Justin Johnson has scored 68 goals, including 26 this fall. Johnson has scored in 18 of UCLA's 22 matches this season and has tallied five multiple-goal efforts. The Mission Viejo, Calif., resident scored the game-winning goal in sudden-victory overtime against UC Irvine (Sept. 22).
SUPER SANTOS: Senior Marco Santos has scored 26 goals in 22 matches, tied for the second-highest total on the club with classmate Justin Johnson. Santos, one of the premier centers in collegiate water polo, has scored in 17 games this season, including nine of UCLA's last 10 contests. In four years, Santos has recorded 80 goals in 95 career matches.
SBUTEGAN SENSATION: Junior Krsto Sbutega, a product of Kotor, Montenegro, has recorded 22 goals in 17 contests. Sbutega, a mechanical engineering major and two-time Academic All-America selection, scored four goals in the third-place contest against Stanford (Sept. 16) and against Santa Clara (Sept. 30) at UC Santa Cruz.
HOT HANDS: Sophomore goalkeeper Chay Lapin registered a career-best 15 saves in UCLA's 9-5 win over USC on Sunday, Oct. 28. Lapin successfully thwarted both of USC's five-meter penalty shots. In 15 contests this fall, Lapin has totaled 150 saves and posted a 6.63 goals against average.
THREE GAMES TO GO: Just three games remain on UCLA's regular-season schedule. After Saturday's match against UC Santa Barbara, the Bruins will play at home against Pepperdine and at Long Beach State.
POSTSEASON: UCLA travels north for the MPSF Tournament (at California) on Nov. 23-25, when it will look to improve its NCAA Tournament resume. The top eight (of nine) MPSF teams qualify for the conference tournament, and four teams from across the nation advance to the season-culminating NCAA Tournament (Dec. 1-2 at Stanford).
RANK THIS: After defeating then-top-ranked USC, 9-5, on Oct. 28, the Bruins vaulted to the No. 2 spot in the national collegiate men's water polo rankings. UCLA's climb to No. 2 marks the Bruins highest ranking since being ranked No. 1 the week of Oct. 12, 2005. Since then, the Bruins have spent time as the third- and fourth-ranked teams.
AT THE HELM: In his ninth season as head coach of the men's water polo team, Adam Krikorian has tallied an impressive 172-52 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.