Nov. 10, 2011
LONG BEACH, Calif. - Josh Samuels scored a team-leading four goals to lead the No. 1 UCLA men's water polo team to its eighth consecutive win, a 13-10 victory at No. 8 Long Beach State in an MPSF match Thursday night.
UCLA (18-3, 4-1 MPSF) also received two goals from Cullen Hennessy, Cristiano Mirarchi and Griffin White at Long Beach State's Campus Pool. The Bruins rallied from a 7-5 deficit midway through the third quarter and held on in the final quarter to secure a crucial road win.
"We had several excellent opportunities to score, and we responded well in that third quarter when we trailed by two," head coach Adam Wright said. "Defensively, we can't give up that many goals. We need to get sharper on defense and we have to find a way to come up with more field blocks. It's big for us to pick up another win on the road, but we've got to improve on defense."
Long Beach State (15-9, 1-6 MPSF) was led by Dan Matulis' four-goal effort. Aleksandar Petrovic netted three goals for the 49ers, Milos Vrzic had two and Devin Mefford scored one.
With the game tied, 5-5, at halftime, Long Beach State scored the first two goals of the third quarter to claim a 7-5 advantage. Mefford scored on a 6-on-5 play with 6:44 to play, and Vrzic netted an extra-man goal at the 5:21 mark.
Trailing 7-5, UCLA scored the game's next five goals to lead by a 10-7 margin. The Bruins closed out the third quarter on a 4-0 scoring run and tallied the first goal of the final quarter.
UCLA's lead by at least two goals throughout the fourth quarter. After Samuels scored his third goal of the night with 4:21 left in the final period, Long Beach State reduced UCLA's cushion to two goals (11-9) on a goal from Petrovic with 3:41 remaining.
Hennessy netted his second goal of the game with 3:10 left, pushing the Bruins ahead, 12-9. UCLA surged ahead, 13-9, on Samuels' fourth goal of the match with 2:10 remaining.
UCLA goalkeeper Matt Rapacz totaled a season-high 12 saves in the cage. Long Beach State's John Mroch was credited with three saves.
The Bruins return to action at No. 9 Pepperdine (12-10, 2-5) on Saturday, Nov. 12. Game time is 12 p.m.
No. 1 UCLA at No. 8 Long Beach State
|Long Beach State||3||2||2||3||10|
Long Beach State Goals: Dan Matulis 4, Aleksandar Petrovic 3, Nathan McConnell, Devin Mefford, Milos Vrzic
Long Beach State Saves: John Mroch 3