NCAA Water Polo Champions 2015
No. 2 UCLA Falls at No. 1 USC, 10-9

Nov. 17, 2012

LOS ANGELES -- The No. 2 UCLA men's water polo team dropped a 10-9 decision at No. 1 USC on Saturday evening at McDonald's Swim Stadium. The Bruins fall to 24-3 overall and 6-1 in MPSF play while the Trojans ended the regular season at 24-0 overall and 8-0 in league action. With the win, USC secured the top seed at next week's MPSF Tournament at USC while the Bruins will be seeded second.

Sophomore Paul Reynolds led the Bruins with three goals while senior goalkeeper Matt Rapacz registered 12 saves in four quarters of work.

The Bruins got on the board first when junior Chris Wendt scored at the 7:07 mark of the first period. After a Michael Rosenthal goal knotted it at 1-1, freshman Danny McClintick put the Bruins up again and for the last time with a power play goal at 4:32 of the opening stanza. The Trojans took a 3-2 led with back-to-back goals, but Reynolds scored his first to tie it at 3-3 with 2:01 left. Nikola Vavic gave USC a 4-3 lead at the end of the first with his first strike with 1:36 to go.

The second quarter was the most defensive-minded of the four periods. After USC went up 5-3 at 6:57 on a goal by Matt Burton, junior Aimone Barabino cut the lead to one with a 6-on-5 score just 10 seconds later. Mace Rapsey scored the final goal of the period with 3:35 left to give USC a 6-4 lead at halftime.

The Trojans built their largest lead of the game when Vavic picked up his second score to put USC up 7-4. But the Bruins reeled off three straight goals (Reynolds at 6:00 and 3:42 and senior Griffin White at 2:06) to tie it at 7-7. Burton got his second score with 1:54 remaining to put the Trojans up 8-7 at the end of the third period.

The Bruins tied the score for the fifth time when Wendt scored his second of the day with 2:46 to go. But USC built an insurmountable lead with back-to-back scores from Rosenthal (2:16) and Rapsey (:31) to go up 10-8. Sophomore Daniel Lenhart closed the gap to 10-9 with a goal with 28 seconds left. But USC play keep-away to run out the clock.

Rapacz played the entire game, picking up 12 saves. James Clark was credited with seven saves for USC.

The Bruins end the regular season tomorrow morning when they host the UC Irvine Anteaters on "Senior Day" at 10:30 a.m. The game will be televised live on Pac-12 LA.

The Bruins are now locked in as the second seed for the 2012 MPSF Tournament, which runs Nov. 23-25 at USC's McDonald's Swim Stadium. They will open up against the No. 7 seed, which won't be determined until Sunday's action has concluded. However, the Bruins will play their first round game of the MPSF Tournament on Nov. 23 at 11:30 a.m. to play for a Saturday semifinal spot.

No. 2 UCLA at No. 1 USC

1 2 3 4 F
UCLA 3 1 3 2 9
USC 4 2 2 2 10

UCLA Goals: Paul Reynolds 3, Chris Wendt 2, Griffin White, Danny McClintick, Aimone Barabino, Daniel Lenhart
UCLA Saves: Matt Rapacz 12

USC Goals: Michael Rosenthal 3, Nikola Vavic 2, Matt Burton 2, Mace Rapsey 2, Zach Lucas
USC Saves: James Clark 7

USC is hosting this year's MPSF Tournament at McDonald's Swim Stadium on Nov. 23-25, 2012. Game times are 10:00 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. (times subject to change). It will be a sellout so click here to purchase your tickets and get in on all of the exciting action and cheer the Bruins on as they defend their MPSF Championship.

USC is also hosting the 2012 NCAA Men's Water Polo Championship at McDonald's Swim Stadium on Dec. 1-2, 2012. It will be a sellout so click here to purchase your tickets and get in on all of the exciting action.

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