NCAA Water Polo Champions 2015
No. 3 UCLA Hosts No. 5 UC Irvine on Saturday Night

Oct. 20, 2010

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LOS ANGELES - The No. 3 UCLA men's water polo team takes on No. 5 UC Irvine on Saturday night under the lights at the Bruins' Spieker Aquatics Center. The Bruins (11-3, 2-1) look to hand the Anteaters (13-3, 2-0) their first conference loss of the season. Game time is 6 p.m. and admission is free.

No. 5 UC Irvine (13-3, 2-0) at No. 3 UCLA (11-3, 2-1)

Saturday, October 23 - 6 p.m.
at UCLA's Spieker Aquatics Center

Fans unable to attend Saturday night's game against UC Irvine can tune in online, listening to a live audio broadcast at UCLA's John Ramey and Mike Sondheimer will have the call from the pool deck at Spieker Aquatics Center at 5:55 p.m.

UCLA went 2-0 over the weekend, recording a crucial MPSF victory over Stanford at home on Friday night. Senior Ben Hohl scored three goals, including the game-winner with 50 seconds to play, as the Bruins downed the visiting Cardinal, 9-8. Stanford overcame a 7-5 deficit in the second half, using a 3-0 scoring run to lead, 8-7. Sophomore Griffin White and senior Ben Hohl scored unanswered goals in the game's final two minutes to lead UCLA. The Bruins defeated Chapman, 10-4, in a non-conference game on Sunday.

Entering this weekend's MPSF action, California and UC Irvine are tied for the conference lead with identical 2-0 records. UCLA holds the tiebreak advantage over Stanford, as both teams are 2-1 in third place. Pacific has split its two MPSF contests, USC has gone 1-2, and UC Santa Barbara (0-1), Long Beach State (0-1) and Pepperdine (0-3) are winless in conference play.

With eight regular season games to go, the Bruins have played more than half their regular-season schedule. UCLA is in the midst of a six-game homestand over 17 days. After this weekend's MPSF game against UC Irvine, the Bruins will play a non-conference doubleheader against UC San Diego and Pomona-Pitzer on Saturday, Oct. 30. UCLA hosts Long Beach State on Sunday, Oct. 31, for an MPSF contest.

Senior Ben Hohl leads UCLA with 25 goals in 12 games and ranks sixth among MPSF players with 2.08 goals per game. He has scored in 11 of 12 games played, totaling at least two goals in eight matches. Hohl has netted four goals in six career games, including two contests this fall. His 125 career-goal total is one shy of breaking into UCLA's top-10 list (Corbin Graham had 126 goals from 1993-96).

Three of UCLA's top five scorers hail from the team's sophomore and freshman classes. True sophomores Josh Samuels and Griffin White have scored 17 and 14 goals, respectively. Freshman Cristiano Mirarchi has netted 21 goals, the second-highest total on the team. Samuels has tallied six multiple-goal efforts, including one four-goal performance against Pacific. White has scored at least one goal in 10 of 13 matches, and Mirarchi netted a team season-high five goals in a 10-9 win over Stanford on Sept. 19.

Freshman Cristiano Mirarchi scored eight goals and sophomore Josh Samuels added seven to lead UCLA to a second-place finish at the SoCal Tournament, hosted by the Bruins on Oct. 2-3. UCLA opened the tournament defeating Princeton, 13-2, in the first round and advanced to the semifinals with a 13-11 win over Pacific. The Bruins raced to a 4-0 lead against UC Irvine in a semifinal match and never looked back, winning 8-6. In the championship match, UCLA fell to crosstown rival USC, 9-8.

Freshman James Hartshorne leads all MPSF goalkeepers with 10.2 saves per contest. The former standout at Northwood High School (Irvine) has posted a 7.20 goals against average in five starts, logging 51 saves. Hartshorne's 7.20 goals against average is the fourth-lowest mark in the conference. Junior Andrew Mesesan has tallied 56 saves in nine games (six starts), logging a 7.86 goals against average.

Senior Ben Hohl tallied a team-leading nine goals in UCLA's four NorCal Tournament games at California (Sept. 18-19). Hohl led the way with four goals against Pacific in a second-round match, added two in a 10-9 semifinal victory over Stanford and scored two more in an 11-10 loss in the title match against USC. UCLA finished second to the Trojans at the NorCal Tournament for the second straight season.

Seniors Ben Hohl and Jacob Murphy spent a portion of their offseason playing for the USA National Team in Europe. Hohl and Murphy both competed for Team USA at the Volvo Cup in Germany. Hohl continued his stint with the National Team during the summer, playing alongside veteran Team USA attacker Adam Wright (UCLA's second-year head coach). Hohl and Wright helped Team USA finish fourth at the annual FINA World Championships (Oradea, Romania).

Three players on the Bruins' 2010 roster arrived at UCLA after having grown up outside the United States. Senior Emilio Vieira hails from Sao Paulo, Brazil, and spent two years studying at Golden West College (Huntington Beach, Calif.) before enrolling at UCLA in 2009. Freshmen Aimone Barabino and Cristiano Mirarchi call Italy home. Barabino, from Recco, Italy, spent the 2009-10 school year in New York City, attending La Scuola d'Italia, while Mirarchi attended high school in his hometown of Rome.

As released by the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) on Oct. 20, UCLA has been tabbed No. 3 in the national top-20 rankings. California is ranked No. 1 in this week's poll, USC is No. 2, and Stanford and UC Irvine have been slotted No. 4 and No. 5, respectively. UC Santa Barbara, Pacific, Long Beach State, Loyola Marymount and Pepperdine round out the top 10 selections, respectively.

Adam Wright is midway through his second year as UCLA's head coach. The four-year Bruin letterwinner (1997-2000) and a 2001 graduate of UCLA helped lead the Bruins to a 23-7 record and MPSF Tournament title last fall. Wright represented the United States on the men's national team at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, leading Team USA to the silver medal in 2008.

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