Oct. 15, 2011
STANFORD, Calif. - The No. 3 UCLA men's water polo team secured a crucial 7-6 victory at No. 1 Stanford in an MPSF match Saturday afternoon at Avery Aquatic Center. Griffin White led the Bruins (12-3, 2-1 MPSF) with three goals, and Josh Samuels added two in UCLA's third consecutive win over Stanford.
The Bruins also received one goal from Brett Hays and Paul Reynolds, knocking off the nation's No. 1-ranked team for the second time in the last three weeks. UCLA upended then No. 1-ranked USC on Sunday, Oct. 3, in the third-place match of the SoCal Tournament.
"Today's game was a big win for us on the road," third-year head coach Adam Wright said. "Griffin [White] had a clutch goal in the final minutes and really stepped up for us. We were up going into halftime, 4-2, and Stanford had a strong third quarter. But, we were able to stay with our gameplan. We made the adjustments that we needed to, which we weren't able to do against Cal last week. At the end of the day, we stuck together. I'm really proud of how our guys stepped up."
In Saturday's MPSF contest, the Bruins outscored Stanford by a 2-1 margin in each of the first two quarters.
Stanford (9-3, 2-1 MPSF) took the game's first lead on Jacob Smith's goal at 1:29 in the opening frame. UCLA tied the game on Hays' goal with 1:45 remaining. With nine seconds to play in the first period, Reynolds scored on a lob shot, putting UCLA ahead, 2-1.
The Cardinal tied the match, 2-2, on a goal from Bowen two minutes into the second quarter. UCLA secured a 4-2 lead by halftime on goals from Samuels and White.
In the third quarter, Bowen tallied consecutive 6-on-5 goals for Stanford, tying the contest at 4-4. Each team added one goal in the final two minutes - White scored for UCLA at 1:55 and Forrest Watkins netted one goal with five seconds left in the period.
Each team traded goals early in the final period before White scored the game-winning goal for UCLA with 4:07 to play in regulation. White got open at the far post on a Bruins' power-play opportunity and converted the go-ahead goal. Stanford earned a power play with 37 seconds to play, but a steal by UCLA with 25 seconds left allowed the Bruins to run out the clock and secure the win.
UCLA goalkeeper Matt Rapacz recorded fives saves in the cage. Stanford's Brian Pingree netted seven stops for the host Cardinal.
The Bruins earned their first victory at Stanford in the annual MPSF match since 1999 (site of each season's MPSF match alternates every year).
UCLA returns to action at No. 14 Santa Clara on Sunday afternoon. Game time is 12 p.m.
No. 3 UCLA at No. 1 Stanford (MPSF match)
Stanford Goals: Alex Bowen 3, Jacob Smith 2, Forrest Watkins
Stanford Saves: Brian Pingree 7