LOS ANGELES - The No. 4 UCLA men's water polo team received goals from 12 players in a 13-8 MPSF win over No. 10 Pepperdine at Spieker Aquatics Center on Saturday evening. The Bruins (17-4, 5-2) outscored the visiting Waves (9-14, 1-6) in the second half by a 7-2 margin to secure the victory.
Pepperdine's Rex Learmouth scored a game-leading three goals in UCLA's final home match of the fall.
After a back-and-forth first half, the Bruins wrested control of the game early in the third quarter. Tied 6-6 at intermission, UCLA used a 4-0 scoring run early in the period to assume a 10-6 advantage against Pepperdine.
UCLA opened the third quarter with goals from senior Ben Hohl (6:51), Samuels (6:03), junior Cullen Hennessy (5:20) and Samuels (4:38) to stake a 10-6 cushion. Pepperdine never came within three goals of UCLA in either of the final two periods.
The Bruins claimed the game's first lead, as senior Emilio Vieira scored on a 6-on-5 opportunity with 5:36 to play in the opening quarter. Pepperdine strung together three consecutive goals to lead 3-1 with 2:37 left - from Spencer Hamby (5:15), Danny White (4:01) on a power-play opportunity and Stephen Loomis (2:37).
UCLA tied the match at 3-3 with 89 seconds left in the first quarter after receiving goals from junior Brett Hays (2:07) on a 6-on-5 play and from sophomore Griffin White (1:19) on a subsequent power-play opportunity.
Pepperdine led 4-3 after the first quarter, netting its fourth goal of the night from Travis Gough on a power play.
The second quarter proved much the same as the first, as neither team was able to take a commanding lead. Senior Jacob Murphy scored from two meters on a backhand shot with 7:32 left in the first half, tying the game at 4-4. UCLA led 6-4 after receiving goals from sophomore Chris Wendt (6:28) on a power play and sophomore Clinton Jorth (2:21). Pepperdine quickly knotted the contest at 6-6 with goals from Gough (1:59) and Learmouth (1:08).
UCLA sophomore goalkeeper Matt Rapacz netted three saves and surrendered six goals in the first two quarters. Freshman goalkeeper James Hartshorne collected six stops and allowed two goals in the second half. Pepperdine goalkeeper Bence Valics registered a game-leading 10 saves in the cage.
The Bruins conclude their regular-season slate at No. 7 UC Santa Barbara on Sunday, Nov. 14. Game time at UCSB's Campus Pool is 1 p.m.
Game Notes: UCLA honored its five seniors (Ben Hohl, Clay Jorth, Kevin Kuga, Jacob Murphy, Emilio Vieira) prior to the match against Pepperdine, as those five players were appearing at Spieker Aquatics Center for the final time in their career.
No. 10 Pepperdine at No. 4 UCLA
Pepperdine Goals: Rex Learmouth 3, Travis Gough 2, Spencer Hamby, Stephen Loomis, Danny White
Pepperdine Saves: Bence Valics 10
UCLA Goals: Josh Samuels 2, Aimone Barabino, Brett Hays, Cullen Hennessy, Ben Hohl, Clay Jorth, Clinton Jorth, Cristiano Mirarchi, Jacob Murphy, Emilio Vieira, Chris Wendt, Griffin White
UCLA Saves: James Hartshorne 6, Matt Rapacz 3