Oct. 28, 2009
LOS ANGELES - The No. 4 UCLA men's water polo team plays two MPSF contests on the road this weekend, taking on No. 5 Pepperdine on Saturday and No. 8 Long Beach State on Sunday. Both games are slated to begin at 12 p.m. UCLA has not faced Pepperdine this season. The Bruins earned a 16-6 victory over Long Beach State in their only meeting at the UCI Invitational on Oct. 10.
THE WEEK AHEAD
Saturday, October 31 - 12 p.m.
No. 4 UCLA (16-5, 2-2) at No. 5 Pepperdine (8-9, 1-3)
All-Time Series vs. Pepperdine: UCLA leads, 62-31-1
Last Season vs. Pepperdine: Series split, 1-1
Sunday, November 1 - 12 p.m.
No. 4 UCLA (16-5, 2-2) at No. 8 Long Beach State (7-8, 1-3)
All-Time Series vs. Long Beach State: UCLA leads, 90-20-1
Last Season vs. Long Beach State: UCLA wins, 1-0
FOUR WINS, FOUR DAYS
UCLA went 4-0 last week, securing victories against Loyola Marymount (10-5), UC Irvine (8-7), Pacific (11-7) and Chapman (15-7) in a four-day span. Wins against UC Irvine and Pacific helped UCLA even its MPSF record to 2-2 with four conference games left. Senior Scott Davidson led the Bruins with six goals in the four-day span, as sophomore Brett Hays and freshman Josh Samuels each added five goals.
DOWN THE ROAD
The Bruins have just four regular-season matches remaining (all games in MPSF play). Following this weekend's road games at Pepperdine and Long Beach State, UCLA will close its season with home matches against USC (Nov. 7 at 7 p.m.) and UC Santa Barbara (Nov. 15 at 1 p.m.). The Bruins will have a two-week break before playing in the annual MPSF Tournament, Nov. 27-29 at USC.
IN THE BOOKS
Senior Scott Davidson has moved into eighth place on UCLA's career goals list, having registered 137 goals entering this weekend's MPSF matches. Davidson is one goal shy of Adam Wright (138) for seventh place and rests five goals behind Chris Kellerman (142) for sixth place. In addition, Davidson scored the first goal at UCLA's new Spieker Aquatics Center in a 10-4 win over UC Irvine on Sept. 26.
Among UCLA's most consistent scoring threats, junior Ben Hohl has scored 23 goals (tied for third-most on team) in 21 matches. Hohl tied his season high with a three-goal effort against Long Beach State at the UCI Invitational on Oct. 10. He has played in all 69 matches since arriving in Westwood as a true freshman in 2007. He scored 27 goals that fall before recording 33 goals as a sophomore in 2008.
Sophomore Cullen Hennessy has made an immediate impact for UCLA this season. Hennessy has scored 14 goals in 17 matches and produced the team's most memorable highlight of the fall, to date. The resident of Fairfax, Calif., scored the game-winning goal against then-No. 1 USC with three seconds remaining to snap a 4-4 tie in a semifinal match at the NorCal Tournament (Sept. 20).
Several true freshmen have made immediate contributions on a UCLA team that features 19 newcomers (17 freshmen). Josh Samuels ranks second on the team with 25 goals, the most goals scored by a freshman since Ben Hohl logged 27 in 2007. Griffin White has added 23 goals in 21 matches, having led UCLA with eight goals in four games at the UCI Invitational (Oct. 10-11).
IN THE CAGE
Senior Chay Lapin has recorded 123 saves in 19 matches, having played over 57 quarters. Lapin's 637 career saves are 43 shy of third place on UCLA's career saves list (Dan Hackett, 680). The native of Long Beach, Calif., collected a season-high 13 saves in a 5-4 loss to No. 1 Stanford on Oct. 11. Freshman Matt Rapacz has tallied 56 saves in 12 games, compiling an MPSF-best 2.58 goals against average.
AROUND THE MPSF
With a 2-2 MPSF record, the Bruins currently rest in a tie for fourth place in the conference standings (UC Irvine, 1-1). Four teams, including UCLA, are halfway through their slate of eight MPSF games. The Bruins' offense has averaged 10.90 goals per game, ranking fifth in the conference. UCLA's defense has allowed an average of 5.57 goals per game, the third-lowest mark among MPSF teams.
As released by the Collegiate Water Polo Association on Oct. 28, UCLA has been tabbed No. 4 in the top-20 rankings. USC secured the No. 1 spot after winning the UCI Invitational (Oct. 10-11). California is ranked second, Stanford third, UCLA fourth and Pepperdine fifth. Rounding out the top 10 selections, respectively, are Loyola Marymount, UC Irvine, Long Beach State, UC Santa Barbara and Concordia.
The Bruins opened the season with a new head coach and home pool. Former two-time Olympian Adam Wright, a four-year UCLA water polo letterwinner (1997-2000), was named head coach in the offseason and works with Adam Krikorian, associate head coach who enters his 14th season coaching the men's water polo team. UCLA opened its new home with a 10-4 victory over UC Irvine on Sept. 26.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Senior center Cole Consani earned MPSF Co-Player of the Week honors after scoring 11 goals in five matches at the Princeton Invitational. The resident of Manhattan Beach, Calif., tied for UCLA's team lead that weekend with 11 goals (with Josh Samuels). Consani earned the weekly honor with UC Irvine's Greg Enloe, securing MPSF Co-Player of the Week honors for the first time in his career.
HOME SWEET HOME
The Bruins have four home matches remaining on their 2009 slate. UCLA returns home to host USC in a pivotal MPSF match at Spieker Aquatics Center on Saturday, Nov. 7 (7 p.m.). UCLA concludes its regular-season schedule with a home match against UC Santa Barbara (Nov. 15). Prior to the match against UC Santa Barbara, the UCLA men's water polo program will honor its five seniors.