Oct. 11, 2008
LOS ANGELES - Backed by a four-goal performance by senior Krsto Sbutega and three goals from junior Scott Swanson, the No. 2 UCLA men's water polo team defeated No. 9 UC San Diego, 12-9, on Saturday at Loyola Marymount's Burns Aquatics Center.
In the SoCal Tournament victory, Sbutega registered four or more goals for the fourth time this season.
The win pits No. 2 UCLA (8-1) against No. 3 Stanford (11-1) in a semifinal match Sunday at Pepperdine's Raleigh Runnels Memorial Pool (12 p.m.).
The Bruins led UC San Diego, 5-2, after the first quarter. Sophomore Ben Hohl scored the game's first goal 39 seconds into the match on a power play, and Swanson followed with a goal 22 seconds later.
The Tritons (12-5) outscored UCLA by a 4-1 margin in the second quarter to tie the contest, 6-6, at halftime. The Bruins outscored UC San Diego, 4-1, in the third quarter and both teams added two goals in the final frame.
Following a timeout, Sbutega scored the tie-breaking goal on a power play with 5:04 remaining in the third quarter. Less than one minute later - at the 4:18 mark - Sbutega added another power-play goal, handing UCLA an 8-6 victory.
UC San Diego trimmed the Bruins' lead to 8-7 on a goal by Steven Donohoe with 2:58 left in the third quarter. Sbutega helped UCLA respond again, scoring his third goal in less than three minutes with 2:39 remaining. Ensuing goals by freshman Matt Preciado and Swanson gave UCLA an 11-7 cushion.
A.J. Kotanjian and Donohoe each scored a team-leading three goals for UC San Diego.
UCLA junior goalkeeper Chay Lapin registered 10 saves. UC San Diego's Nick Donahue made 10 stops, and Miles Gilhuly added one save.
Sunday's semifinal match between No. 2 UCLA and No. 3 Stanford marks the first meeting between both MPSF rivals this season.
No. 9 UC San Diego vs. No. 2 UCLA
|UC San Diego||2||4||1||2||9|
UC San Diego Goals: Steven Donohoe 3, A.J. Kotanjian 3, Daniel Garcia, Steven Roberts, Chance Vermilyea
UC San Diego Saves: Nick Donahue 10, Miles Gilhuly 1