On Deck This Week
No. 2 UCLA (23-2, 3-1 MPSF) travels to No. 8 Long Beach State (17-8, 1-3 MPSF) on Nov. 9 at Noon for its only game of the week. The Bruins are currently in a three-way tie for first with Pacific and Stanford in the MPSF. Pacific vaulted to No. 1 after its defeat of USC last week, despite being beaten by the Bruins the previous week. UCLA and USC are tied at No. 2.
UCLA is 94-20-1 all-time vs. Long Beach State. The Bruins defeated the 49ers 13-8 on Nov. 3 last year at Spieker Aquatics Center. UCLA defeated the 49ers 13-10 in the last meeting in Long Beach (Nov. 10, 2011). UCLA has won 15 straight over The Beach with the 49ers last win coming in a 9-5 win in the semis of the SoCal Tournament on Sept. 21, 2003.
Recapping Last Week
The No. 2 UCLA men’s water polo team improved to 23-2 overall and 3-1 in the MPSF with a 6-4 league win over No. 5 California at home (Nov. 1) and a 15-11 nonconference win over No. 11 Concordia (Nov. 1). Redshirt junior Cristiano Mirarchi tied his season-high of three goals for the second straight game in the win over the Golden Bears. Freshman Ryder Roberts scored a career-high four goals in the win over the Concordia Eagles.
Beating the Best
UCLA is the only team in the country with victories over the other Top 7 programs in 2013. The second-ranked Bruins have already defeated No. 1 Pacific, No. 2 USC, No. 4 Stanford, No. 5 California, No. 6 UCSB and No. 7 Pepperdine.
The Bruins’ defense has been stellar for most of the season, allowing only USC, Pacific and Concordia to score more than eight goals. USC put 12 up on the board in a 12-11 double overtime win in the finals of the SoCal Invitational (Oct. 13), Concordia lost last week 15-11 at UCLA and Pacific suffered a 12-10 loss at UCLA on Oct. 27. Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Garrett Danner leads the MPSF in goals against average (5.50 gaa) as the Bruins lead the MPSF as a team, allowing just 5.00 goals per game.
UCLA true and redshirt freshmen are making huge contributions in 2013. In addition to redshirt freshman goalkeeper Garrett Danner, there are six other freshmen (two redshirts) that are playing heavy minutes. The freshmen account for 39.5 percent of the team’s scoring (145-of-367 goals). Freshman Lovre Milos leads the team with 35 goals. Freshman Ryder Roberts is tied for 4th on the team in scoring (28 goals) while freshman Gordon Marshall is tied for 7th on the team in scoring with 24 goals. Freshmen Jack Fellner (20 goals) and Chancellor Ramirez (16 goals) are 10th and tied for 11th, respectively, in scoring. Redshirt freshman Alec Zwaneveld is 15th with 11 goals. Roberts is currently 2nd on the team in assists (35) while Danner (40) and Roberts (32) lead in steals.
Scoring at a High Percentage
While UCLA ranks third in the MPSF in goals per game (14.68 gpg), the Bruins are currently scoring on 46.9 percent of their shots. Ten Bruins are shooting 50 percent or better, led by redshirt freshman Alec Zwaneveld’s 63.6 percent (14-for-22). There are 10 different Bruins averaging at least one goal per game. Freshman Lovre Milos is 20th in the MPSF in scoring (1.46 gpg) while junior Paul Reynolds is 22nd (1.43 gpg).
Against Ranked Teams
The Bruins are 17-2 (.895) against ranked teams in 2013. On the season, UCLA has outscored its opposition by 9.68 goals per game (367-125, 14.68-5.00 gpg). The Bruins are outscoring ranked teams by 7.10 goals per game (240-105, 12.63-5.53 gpg).
Wright On Deck For Year Five
The Bruins are led by fifth-year head coach Adam Wright, who has compiled a 114-25 (.820) record, including a 28-9 (.757) mark in MPSF action. He won his 100th game earlier this year with the 10-4 victory over No. 6 UC Santa Barbara in the quarterfinals of the SoCal Tournament (Sept. 21). Wright played at UCLA from 1997-2000, leading the Bruins to NCAA Championships in 1999 and 2000. He played for the USA National Team in the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Olympics, leading Team USA to a silver medal in 2008 in Beijing. Wright played for the National Team in every major international tournament from 2001-12. He has guided the Bruins to two MPSF Tournament titles and three runner-up finishes at the NCAA Tournament in his four complete seasons at the helm. In 2009 and 2011, UCLA won the MPSF Tournament title. He has guided the Bruins to the title match of the NCAA Tournament in three of his four seasons (2009, 2011, 2012). Wright was named MPSF Coach of the Year in 2011 after leading UCLA to the MPSF Tournament title and a runner-up finish at the NCAA Tournament.