Sept. 16, 2012
STANFORD, Calif. - The second-ranked UCLA men's water polo team advanced to the finals of the NorCal Invitational at Stanford on Sunday with an 11-10 overtime victory over No. 3 California. UCLA improved to 11-0 with the win while the Golden Bears fell to 7-1 on the season.
Senior Josh Samuels led UCLA with four goals while sophomore Chris Fahlsing added three for the Bruins. UCLA also got two goals from sophomore Daniel Lenhart while senior Bret Lathrope and junior Aimone Barabino each scored once against the Golden Bears.
Sophomore Aleksa Saponjic led California with three goals.
The Bruins jumped out to a 4-3 lead at the end of the first period, but California responded in the second period to take a 6-5 lead at halftime.
The third period was a low-scoring affair with the Golden Bears picking up one goal while pitching a shutout on the Bruins to take a 7-5 lead into the fourth quarter. But that's when UCLA's offense erupted for five goals as California scored three in the final period to make it 10-10 at the end of regulation.
But the Bruins' defense pitched a shutout in the two overtime periods and Fahlsing scored the only goal after regulation (at 1:34 of the first extra period) to get the Bruins off to their best start in 16 years (in 1996 UCLA opened the season 13-0).
In a rematch of the 2011 NorCal Tournament final, UCLA will face No. 1 USC in the championship match tonight at 6:15 p.m. at Avery Pool at Stanford.
No. 3 California vs. No. 2 UCLA
California Goals: Aleksa Saponjic 3, Hunter Gettelfinger 2, Thomas Agramonte, Marin Balarin, Mason Cox, Colin Mulcahy, Collin Smith
California Saves: Michael Boggan 11