Oct. 31, 2007
WHAT'S NEXT: The No. 2 UCLA men's water polo team travels for a Saturday night match at No. 14 UC San Diego at Canyonview Pool (6 p.m.). Last fall, the Bruins dropped a 13-12 decision to the Tritons in San Diego, before rebounding to rout UCSD, 12-3, in the SoCal Tournament's third-place match.
BRUINS TOP TROJANS: UCLA snapped a four-game losing streak to crosstown rival USC on Sunday, Oct. 28, defeating the top-ranked Trojans, 9-5, at Sunset Canyon Recreation Center. Not only did the Bruins hand the Trojans their first loss of the season, but UCLA registered its most lopsided win over USC since 1989. The Bruins last defeated the Trojans, 6-4, on Nov. 11, 2004 at USC.
HOT HANDS: Sophomore goalkeeper Chay Lapin registered a career-best 15 saves in UCLA's 9-5 win over USC on Sunday afternoon. Lapin successfully thwarted both of USC's five-meter penalty shots. In 15 contests this fall, Lapin has totaled 139 saves and posted a 6.67 goals against average. The Long Beach, Calif., resident has twice recorded 13-save efforts in his career.
SCORING DEPTH: Through 21 games, 13 Bruins have scored 10 or more goals. Four Bruins have logged 20 or more goals as sophomore Scott Davidson leads the way with 32. Seniors Justin Johnson (25) and Marco Santos (24) and junior Krsto Sbutega (22) round out the top four goal scorers.
CAPTAIN IN THE WATER: Through 79 career matches, senior team captain Justin Johnson has scored 67 goals, including 25 this fall. Johnson has scored in 17 of UCLA's 21 matches this season and has tallied five multiple-goal efforts. The Mission Viejo, Calif., resident scored the game-winning goal in sudden-victory overtime against UC Irvine (Sept. 22).
30 AND COUNTING: Sophomore Scott Davidson became the first Bruin this season to eclipse the 30-goal mark when he found the back of the cage twice against Pacific (Oct. 21). In UCLA's 9-5 victory over USC, Davidson scored two goals, marking his 10th multi-goal effort of the season. Last fall, Davidson scored 22 goals as a redshirt freshman.
SBUTEGAN SENSATION: Junior Krsto Sbutega, a product of Kotor, Montenegro, has recorded 22 goals in 17 contests. Sbutega, a mechanical engineering major and two-time Academic All-America selection, scored four goals in the third-place contest against Stanford (Sept. 16) and against Santa Clara (Sept. 30) at UC Santa Cruz.
LIGHT IT UP: Ben Hohl has exhibited an impressive freshman campaign, having scored 18 goals in 21 matches. Hohl began the season scoring a team-high three goals in UCLA's 8-6 season-opening win against Loyola Marymount. Including that match, Hohl has recorded five multiple-goal games.
FOUR GAMES TO GO: Just four games remain on UCLA's regular-season schedule. After Saturday's match against UC San Diego, the Bruins will play three conference matches (vs. UC Santa Barbara, Pepperdine and Long Beach State).
POSTSEASON: UCLA travels north for the MPSF Tournament on Nov. 23-25, when it will look to improve its resume for the NCAA Tournament. The top eight (of nine) MPSF teams qualify for the conference tournament, and four teams from across the nation advance to the season-culminating NCAA Tournament (Dec. 1-2 at Stanford).
RANK THIS: After defeating then-top-ranked USC, 9-5, last Sunday, the Bruins have vaulted to the No. 2 spot in the national collegiate men's water polo rankings. UCLA's climb to No. 2 marks the Bruins highest ranking since being ranked No. 1 the week of Oct. 12, 2005. Since then, the Bruins have spent time as the third- and fourth-ranked teams.
AT THE HELM: In his ninth season as head coach of the men's water polo team, Adam Krikorian has tallied an impressive 171-52 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.