Oct. 6, 2010
LOS ANGELES - The No. 2 UCLA men's water polo team heads north to open MPSF play at No. 4 California (10-2) on Saturday before taking on No. 7 Pacific (8-4) on Sunday. The Bruins (8-2) finished second at the SoCal Tournament last weekend.
THIS WEEK'S GAMES
Saturday, October 9 - Game Time: 10 a.m.
No. 2 UCLA (8-2) at No. 4 California (10-2)
at California's Spieker Aquatics Complex
Sunday, October 10 - Game Time: 12 p.m.
No. 2 UCLA (8-2) at No. 7 Pacific (8-4)
at Pacific's Chris Kjeldsen Pool
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 last weekend. 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 on Sunday afternoon 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 totaled 34 saves in three starts over the weekend at the SoCal Tournament, making his collegiate debut by totaling eight saves in a 13-2 victory over Princeton on Saturday. Hartshorne totaled a season-high 16 saves in UCLA's 8-6 semifinal win against UC Irvine. In the title match, the freshman from Irvine, Calif., made 10 stops, keeping the Bruins to within one goal of USC. Hartshorne averaged 11.3 saves per match and has tallied a 5.67 goals against average.
THE HOHL SHOT
Senior Ben Hohl leads UCLA with 20 goals and ranks sixth among MPSF field players with 2.22 goals per game. He has scored in eight of nine games played, totaling at least two goals in seven matches. Hohl has netted four goals in six career games, including two contests this fall. The native of Atherton, Calif., has scored 120 career goals, currently standing six shy of breaking into UCLA's all-time top-10 goals scored list. Former standout Corbin Graham (1993-96) ranks 10th with 126 career goals.
Senior Emilio Vieira has collected team-highs with 13 blocks and nine steals, starting all 10 matches this season. The native of Sao Paulo, Brazil, has also netted five goals on 14 attempts. Vieira finished second on the team one year ago with 15 blocks. Sophomore Josh Samuels has netted seven blocks and seven steals on the defensive end, and ranks third on the team with 13 goals.
Cristiano Mirarchi became UCLA's second freshman since Sept. 7, 1997 to score five goals in one game, accomplishing the feat in a 10-9 win over Stanford (Sept. 19). Griffin White accomplished the feat last season (Oct. 10) in a 14-4 win over Redlands. In 1997, Sean Kern scored five goals in a 22-0 victory over Air Force at the Triton Tournament (San Diego).
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.
DON'T BE OFFENDED
Over 78 percent of UCLA's scoring output from one season ago has returned this season. UCLA's returning letterwinners account for 240 of the team's 305 goals (78.7 pct) from last year. While the Bruins have lost leading scorer and 2009 MPSF Player of the Year honoree Scott Davidson (47 goals), UCLA returns key scorers Ben Hohl (40), Griffin White (33), Josh Samuels (32), Cullen Hennessy (23) and Emilio Vieira (20). Those five players accounted for 48.5 percent of UCLA's total goals in 2009.
AROUND THE WORLD
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 arrive 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. 6, UCLA has been tabbed No. 2 in the national top-20 rankings. USC is ranked No. 1 in this week's poll, while UC Irvine, California and UC Santa Barbara complete the top five selections. Stanford, Pacific, Long Beach State, UC San Diego and Loyola Marymount round out the top 10 selections, respectively.
AT THE HELM
Adam Wright begins 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 in his first season as the program's head coach (2009). 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.