Nov. 30, 2008
MALIBU, Calif. - The No. 4-seed UCLA men's water polo team fell to No. 2-seed Stanford, 10-7, Sunday afternoon in the third-place match of the MPSF Tournament at Pepperdine's Raleigh Runnels Memorial Pool. Senior Krsto Sbutega led the Bruins (16-8) with three goals in his final collegiate contest.
UCLA also received one pair of goals from sophomore Jacob Murphy and one goal each from junior Scott Davidson and sophomore Clay Jorth. Three Stanford players each notched three-goal games - Drac Wigo, Janson Wigo and Sage Wright.
The Cardinal (24-5) raced to a 3-0 lead after one quarter, receiving two goals from Drac Wigo and a third from Janson Wigo. UCLA responded 46 seconds into the second period, as Murphy found the back of the cage to slice Stanford's margin to 3-1.
Stanford added its fourth goal with 4:02 remaining before halftime on a strike from Janson Wigo. UCLA answered with a goal from Jorth at the 2:43 mark. Stanford led, 5-2, at halftime after receiving a goal from Alex Pulido with 75 seconds to play before the break.
Stanford secured its largest lead of the day - four goals (6-2) - when Drac Wigo scored on a 6-on-5 opportunity at the 5:23 mark in the third quarter.
UCLA used a 3-0 run to cut its deficit to 6-5. As a Bruin 6-on-5 opportunity expired, Sbutega scored with 4:32 to play in the third quarter. Sbutega added a 6-on-5 goal with 3:36 remaining in the period, and Davidson scored with 3:02 to play, trimming the margin to 6-5. Stanford assumed a two-goal lead (7-5) on a goal by Wright with 2:43 to play in the third quarter.
Murphy scored from two-meters with 6:45 remaining in the game, reducing the Bruins' deficit to 7-6. Stanford answered with a goal from Wright at the 5:27 mark. The Bruins cut Stanford's lead back to one goal on a five-meter penalty shot by Sbutega with 4:18 to play.
Stanford secured the victory with two goals in the final two minutes of the game.
Junior goalkeeper Chay Lapin registered six saves. Stanford's Jimmie Sandman made 12 stops in the cage.
Sunday's contest marked the final collegiate game for UCLA's three seniors - Chris Allen, Krsto Sbutega and Russell Simpkins. Sbutega finished his four-year Bruin career with 143 goals, the fifth-highest total in school history. With three goals against Stanford on Sunday, Sbutega surpassed Chris Kellerman's total of 142 goals. Sbutega's 50 goals this fall is the most in a season by a Bruin since Brett Ormsby tallied 70 goals in 2004.
Lapin's six saves against Stanford on Sunday pushed the junior goalkeeper's season saves total to 206, the eighth-highest single-season saves mark in program history.
UCLA concludes its 2008 campaign with a 16-8 record after having finished fourth in both the MPSF regular-season standings and MPSF Tournament.
No. 2-seed Stanford vs. No. 4-seed UCLA (MPSF Tournament - Third-Place Game)
Stanford Goals: Drac Wigo 3, Janson Wigo 3, Sage Wright 3, Alex Pulido
Stanford Saves: Jimmie Sandman 12