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No. 1 UCLA Prepares for Pair of MPSF Road Matches
Courtesy: UCLA Athletics  
Release:  11/09/2011

Nov. 9, 2011

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LOS ANGELES - The No. 1 UCLA men's water polo team plays two MPSF games on the road this week. The Bruins (17-3, 3-1) play at No. 8 Long Beach State (15-8, 1-5) on Thursday at 7 p.m., before taking on No. 9 Pepperdine (12-10, 2-5) on Saturday at 12 p.m.

THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE
No. 1 UCLA (17-3, 3-1) at No. 8 Long Beach State (15-8, 1-5)
Thursday, Nov. 10 - 7 p.m.
at Long Beach State's Campus Pool

No. 1 UCLA (17-3, 3-1) at No. 9 Pepperdine (12-10, 2-5)
Saturday, Nov. 12 - 12 p.m.
at Pepperdine's Raleigh Runnels Memorial Pool

Bruins Edge Pacific in OT Thriller
Cristiano Mirarchi scored the game-winning goal for UCLA in the match's third overtime session (first in sudden victory overtime) last Friday night, helping the Bruins secure a crucial 13-12 MPSF win against Pacific. Josh Samuels scored a career-high five goals for the Bruins, who rallied from a 10-9 deficit in the final minute of regulation and forced three overtime sessions.

UCLA Cruises Past UC San Diego
The Bruins earned a 9-4 win over UC San Diego on Sunday afternoon, extending their win streak to a season-high seven games. Paul Reynolds and Griffin White each scored two goals for UCLA at the Tritons' Canyonview Pool. Sunday's match at UC San Diego marked the Bruins' final non-conference regular-season match.

The Last Time in Overtime
UCLA's 13-12 win over Pacific on Friday, Nov. 4, was the Bruins' first sudden victory overtime match since 2007. That season, the Bruins played three games in sudden victory overtime, icnluding two in the span of six days (Nov. 17, Nov. 23). UCLA had not won a sudden victory overtime contest since Sept. 22, 2007. UCLA last played an overtime game at the 2009 NCAA Tournament (Dec. 4), defeating Loyola Marymount by a 9-8 margin.

Wright, Lapin Strike Gold for USA
Head coach Adam Wright and former UCLA goalkeeping standout Chay Lapin played for the United States Men's National Team at the Pan American Games in Guadajalara, Mexico, leading Team USA to the gold medal and clinching an automatic berth to the 2012 Olympics in London. Wright played for Team USA at the 2004 (7th place) and 2008 Olympics (silver medal).

History Versus No. 1 Team
UCLA has won both its games against No. 1-ranked teams this year. After defeating then-No. 1 USC, 7-6, on Oct. 2, the Bruins secured a 7-6 win at then-No. 1 Stanford on Oct. 15. The win at Stanford was UCLA's first against the No. 1 team since Nov. 28, 2009, when UCLA defeated USC, 10-6, in the semifinals of the MPSF Tournament. UCLA and USC have both entered this week's schedule tied for the No. 1 rank in the latest national top-20 poll.

Standing Up in the Conference
UCLA has gone 3-1 in MPSF games and currently ranks third in the conference standings, trailing USC (6-0) and California (5-1). Stanford (5-2) is fourth, UC Santa Barbara (2-4) is fifth, while UC Irvine (2-5) and Pepperdine (2-5) are tied for sixth place. The final two teams in the standings are Pacific (1-4) and Long Beach State (1-5).

Final Stretch for UCLA
The Bruins have four regular-season contests remaining, before hosting the MPSF Tournament (Nov. 25-27). All four regular-season matches count in the MPSF standings. After this weekend's pair of contests, UCLA hosts USC (Nov. 18) and UC Santa Barbara (Nov. 19). The MPSF Tournament schedule will not be finalized until Sunday, Nov. 19.

Key Matches This Weekend
Aside from UCLA's two road games, this week's conference schedule features three MPSF matchups. Pacific plays at California at 5 p.m. on Friday. UC Irvine takes on UC Santa Barbara on Saturday at 12 p.m. USC looks to stay undefeated in conference play this Sunday when facing Pacific at 12 p.m. in Stockton, Calif.



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