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Water Polo NCAA Champs
 

No. 3 UCLA Men's Water Polo to Open MPSF Play at No. 4 Stanford
Courtesy: UCLA Athletics  
Release:  09/27/2007

Sept. 27, 2007

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THIS WEEK
No. 3 UCLA at No. 4 Stanford - Saturday, Sept. 29 (4:30 p.m.)
No. 3 UCLA vs. Santa Clara - Sunday, Sept. 30 (10:30 a.m.)
No. 3 UCLA at UC Santa Cruz - Sunday, Sept. 30 (2:00 p.m.)

WHAT'S NEXT: No. 3 UCLA begins Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) competition at Stanford this weekend. Following's Saturday's clash with the Cardinal, the Bruins play against Santa Clara and UC Santa Cruz in Santa Cruz, Calif.

ABOUT THE CARDINAL: The Bruins have won their last five matches against Stanford, including a perfect 4-0 record last season. In that five-game span, UCLA has outscored Stanford, 48-37. UCLA downed the Cardinal, 13-9, in the third-place match at the NorCal Tournament two weeks ago. The Bruins own a 61-72 lifetime record against Stanford and last defeated the Cardinal in Palo Alto, Calif., on Sept. 17, 2006.

SUDDEN VICTORY: The Bruins notched their eighth win of the season Saturday, recording a 12-11 win over No. 6 UC Irvine in sudden-victory overtime. Sophomore Scott Davidson led UCLA with a career-high five goals and senior Justin Johnson netted the game winner with 1:29 left in the third overtime.

EQUALLY IMPRESSIVE: Sophomore Scott Davidson has started the Bruins' 2007 campaign in impressive style. The Seal Beach, Calif., resident leads the team with 15 goals. Most notably, Davidson scored a team-best and career-high five goals against UC Irvine on Saturday, Sept. 22. He scored two goals in each of UCLA's first four games.

SBUTEGAN SENSATION: Junior Krsto Sbutega, a product of Kotor, Montenegro, has had an impressive season, totaling 11 goals in five games. Sbutega, a mechanical engineering major and two-time Academic All-America selection, scored a season-best four goals in UCLA's 13-9 win over Stanford (Sept. 16).

BRUINS FINISH THIRD: For the second consecutive season two weeks ago, 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.

IN THE CAGE: Sophomore goalkeeper Chay Lapin has posted a 7.00 goals against average in seven games (237:31 minutes), totaling 60 saves. Lapin has totaled 12 saves in two matches this season - at Loyola Marymount (Sept. 6) and versus UC Irvine (Sept. 22). Senior Matt Kellogg has logged a 3.50 goals against average and 16 saves in two matches.

MIDDLE MAN: Senior Marco Santos has tallied nine goals in nine games. Santos has scored one goal in seven of the Bruins' nine matches, including a two-goal performance against Stanford in the NorCal Tournament. UCLA's primary center, Santos has scored 63 career goals in 82 matches. One year ago, he scored 27 goals on 63 attempts. Santos finished the 2006 season having captured honorable mention All-America accolades.

HOME SWEET HOME: The Bruins will host four more matches at home this season in addition to two games at the Rose Bowl Aquatic Center (prior to football games). Last Saturday's 12-11 win over UC Irvine marked the Bruins' fifth consecutive home victory. UCLA will also host Pacific, USC, UC Santa Barbara and Pepperdine. The Bruins will play Brown and Cal at the Rose Bowl Aquatic Center.

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).

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.

AT THE HELM: In his ninth season as head coach of the men's water polo team, Adam Krikorian has tallied an impressive 163-48 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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