Nov. 14, 2010
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The No. 4 UCLA men's water polo team overcame a one-goal deficit in the fourth quarter to hold off No. 7 UC Santa Barbara, 9-8, in the Bruins' final contest of the regular season on Sunday. Senior Jacob Murphy led the Bruins (18-4, 6-2) with three goals in the MPSF victory.
UC Santa Barbara (10-10, 1-6) was led by three goals each from Milos Golic and Zsombor Vincze.
Leading 7-6 after three quarters, the Bruins surrendered two goals to UC Santa Barbara midway through the final quarter, allowing the Gauchos to assume an 8-7 lead. Vincze's third goal of the afternoon with under five minutes to play pushed UC Santa Barbara ahead by one goal.
UCLA responded with the game-tying goal in the match's final four minutes as sophomore Josh Samuels netted his second goal of the day. Just one minute later, Murphy scored the game-winning goal, pushing UCLA ahead 9-8.
In a back-and-forth opening half, each team scored two goals in the first quarter. The host Gauchos took a 1-0 lead at 7:05 in the first quarter on a goal from Lazar Komadinic. Just 21 seconds later, Murphy scored his first goal of the day to tie the game at 1-1. A 6-on-5 goal from freshman Chris Wendt pushed UCLA ahead 2-1, before UC Santa Barbara tied the game, 2-2, on a shot from Matt Gronow.
UC Santa Barbara charged ahead with two goals early in the second quarter from Vincze and Golic to claim a 4-2 cushion. After the Bruins earned an ejection with 5:09 left in the first half, junior Cullen Hennessy took advantage of the power-play with an extra-man goal, cutting the Gauchos' lead to 4-3. UCLA tied the game, 4-4, on a shot from Samuels with 3:47 left in the second quarter.
UC Santa Barbara carried a 6-5 lead into intermission. Golic scored the Gauchos' fifth goal of the day, Murphy answered with a game-tying goal (5-5), before Golic's break-away score with 19 seconds to play handed UC Santa Barbara a 6-5 advantage.
UCLA blanked UC Santa Barbara, 2-0, in the third period.
Freshman goalkeeper James Hartshorne was credited with nine saves in the cage for UCLA. UC Santa Barbara's Fraser Bunn netted eight stops in goal.
Sunday's match marked the Bruins' final contest of the regular season. UCLA will play in the annual MPSF Tournament at Stanford University on Nov. 26-28. The Bruins will be seeded no lower than No. 4 in the conference tournament. The complete schedule will be available after all MPSF games conclude on Saturday, Nov. 20. The winner of the MPSF Tournament earns an automatic bid to the 2010 NCAA Tournament.
No. 4 UCLA at No. 7 UC Santa Barbara
|UC Santa Barbara||2||4||0||2||8|
UC Santa Barbara Goals: Milos Golic 3, Zsombor Vincze 3, Matt Gronow, Lazar Komadinic
UC Santa Barbara Saves: Fraser Bunn 8