Oct. 12, 2011
LOS ANGELES - The No. 3 UCLA men's water polo team will play a pair of games in the Bay Area this weekend, facing No. 1 Stanford on Saturday and No. 14 Santa Clara on Sunday. Both matches will begin at 12 p.m. UCLA's game at Stanford on Saturday counts in the MPSF regular-season standings.
THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE
No. 3 UCLA (11-3, 1-1) at No. 1 Stanford (9-2, 2-0)
Saturday, Oct. 15 - 12 p.m.
at Stanford's Avery Aquatic Center
No. 3 UCLA (11-3) at No. 14 Santa Clara (11-10)
Sunday, Oct. 16 - 12 p.m.
at Santa Clara's Sullivan Aquatic Center
UCLA Splits Pair of MPSF Games
The Bruins opened their MPSF schedule with a loss to California before cruising past UC Irvine on the road last weekend. Tied 3-3 at halftime against California on Friday night, the Bruins were outscored 4-1 in the third quarter and could not recover in an 8-5 loss. UCLA overpowered UC Irvine on Sunday afternoon with an 18-6 victory.
Historic Goal Total for Bruins
In UCLA's 18-6 win over UC Irvine last Sunday, the Bruins scored their most goals in an MPSF contest since Sept. 20, 1994, when UCLA defeated Long Beach State, 19-5. Three Bruins each registered three goals in Sunday's win at UC Irvine. UCLA has won its last six matches in the series against the Anteaters.
Top-Ranked Cardinal on Deck
UCLA will play the nation's top-ranked team for the second time this season, when the Bruins face Stanford on the road Saturday afternoon. Stanford vaulted into the No. 1 spot last week after having won the SoCal Tournament Title on Oct. 2 with a 10-9 overtime win over California. UCLA upended then-No. 1 USC, 7-6, in the third-place match of the SoCal Tournament on Oct. 2.
Looking at the Numbers
Josh Samuels leads UCLA with 22 goals, having averaged 1.83 goals per match (played in 12 games). Samuels ranks ninth among MPSF players in goals scored per game. The junior utility player from Villa Park, Calif., has scored in 11 of 12 games played. As a team, UCLA ranks third in the MPSF in goals per game and fourth in goals allowed per game.
Analyzing the MPSF Field
The conference race is well underway, and California, USC and Stanford are all tied for first place with 2-0 records. UCLA has gone 1-1 (fourth place), Pacific opens its MPSF schedule this weekend, and four teams are currently winless in league matches. Only the winner of the conference tournament earns an automatic berth to the four-team NCAA Tournament.
Bruins in the Bay Area
UCLA last defeated Stanford on the road in the annual MPSF match in 1999 (site alternates each season). The Bruins have gone 16-23 against the Cardinal since 1999, posting a 5-7 mark in the MPSF meetings during that span.
Hennessy Serves as Team Captain
Senior Cullen Hennessy has been a significant contributor for UCLA the past three seasons. Last year, he started 23 matches, totaling 21 goals and 13. In 2009, he scored 23 goals and led UCLA with 27 assists, leading the team to the NCAA Tournament's championship match. He scored 14 goals as a freshman in 2008.
Who's in Goal for the Bruins?
Junior Matt Rapacz enters this weekend with 75 saves and a 7.11 goals against average (GAA). He has averaged 7.11 saves per four quarters, as the Bruins have gone 9-3 in his 12 starts. Sophomore James Hartshorne has logged 21 saves and a 2.50 GAA in six games. Senior Andrew Mesesan has tallied 11 saves and a 4.00 GAA in four games (two starts).
UCLA's Schedule Breakdown
UCLA's three remaining home games will be played against Pacific (Nov. 4), USC (Nov. 18) and UC Santa Barbara (Nov. 19). In addition to these conference matches, the Bruins will host the MPSF Tournament (Nov. 25-27). This will mark the first season in which UCLA will host the MPSF Tournament at its home pool.