Oct. 15, 2009
LOS ANGELES - The UCLA men's water polo team returns home to host California in an MPSF match on Friday, Oct. 16. Game time of the Bruins' second home match of the season is slated for 7 p.m. UCLA has not yet faced California this fall. Admission to Friday night's match costs $7 for adults and $5 for children.
WEEKEND IN REVIEW
UCLA finished fourth at the UCI Invitational last weekend, earning victories against Redlands (14-4) and No. 8 Long Beach State (16-6) on Saturday. The Bruins dropped two one-goal games on Sunday, falling to USC (9-8) in a semifinal match and Stanford (5-4) in the third-place game. Griffin White led UCLA with eight goals on the weekend, and Scott Davidson followed with six goals in four games.
The Bruins went 1-1 on a road trip to No. 1 Stanford and No. 11 Santa Clara two weeks ago. UCLA dropped its MPSF-opening contest at Stanford, 8-6, on Saturday, Oct. 3. The Bruins responded with an 11-5 victory at Santa Clara on Sunday, Oct. 4. Senior Scott Davidson led the Bruins in both games, scoring two goals in each contest. Senior goalkeeper Chay Lapin totaled 19 saves through both matches.
Senior Scott Davidson has etched his name in UCLA's history book the last three weeks. Most recently, Davidson moved into ninth place on UCLA's career goals scored list (129), surpassing Corbin Graham's total of 126 goals. In addition, the native of Seal Beach, Calif., scored the first goal at UCLA's new Spieker Aquatics Center in a 10-4 win over UC Irvine on Sept. 26.
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 20 goals, the most goals scored by a freshman since Ben Hohl logged 27 goals in 2007. Griffin White has added 17 goals, as the freshman from Mission Viejo, Calif., led UCLA with eight goals in four games at the UCI Invitational (Oct. 10-11).
Among UCLA's most consistent scoring threats, junior Ben Hohl has scored 17 goals (tied, third-most on team) in 16 matches. Hohl tied his season high with a three-goal effort against Long Beach State at the UCI Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 10. Hohl has played in all 64 matches since arriving in Westwood as a true freshman in 2007. He scored 27 goals that fall before recording 33 goals as a sophomore (2008).
Sophomore Cullen Hennessy has made an immediate impact for UCLA this season. Hennessy has scored 14 goals in 16 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).
MORE THAN HALF
Having played 16 matches heading into the second full week of October, UCLA has passed the midpoint of its regular season. The Bruins have nine matches remaining on their regular-season slate, highlighted by seven remaining MPSF matches. UCLA has outscored its opposition by a 179-84 tally through 16 games, posting a 5.25 team goals against average.
IN THE CAGE
Senior Chay Lapin has recorded 106 saves in 16 matches, having played just over 45 quarters. Lapin's 620 career saves are 60 shy of third place on UCLA's career saves list. The native of Long Beach, Calif., collected a season-high 13 saves in UCLA's 5-4 loss to No. 1 Stanford on Sunday, Oct. 11. Freshman Matt Rapacz has tallied 46 saves in 10 matches, compiling a 2.30 goals against average.
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.
DON'T BE OFFENDED
UCLA returned over 72 percent of its scoring output from one season ago. The Bruins' returning letterwinners account for 161 of the team's 222 goals (72.5 pct) from the 2008 campaign. Aside from the loss of leading scorer Krsto Sbutega (50), the Bruins welcome back the return of key scorers Scott Davidson (34), Ben Hohl (33), Jacob Murphy (21), Scott Swanson (18) and Cullen Hennessy (14).
As released by the Collegiate Water Polo Association on Oct. 14, 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, Long Beach State, UC Santa Barbara, UC Irvine and Concordia.
The Bruins have opened their 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.
HOME SWEET HOME
The Bruins have five home matches remaining on their 2009 slate. UCLA returns home to host California in its second MPSF contest at Spieker Aquatics Center this Friday. The Bruins will play a doubleheader against Pacific and Chapman on Sunday, Oct. 25. UCLA concludes its regular season schedule with back-to-back home MPSF matches - versus USC (Nov. 7) and UC Santa Barbara (Nov. 15).