On Deck This Week
The top-ranked UCLA Bruins (15-0, 0-0 MPSF) travels to UC Irvine for the SoCal Invitational on Oct. 12-13. The Bruins are grouped with No. 8 Pepperdine, No. 9 UC Irvine and Pomona-Pitzer, opening up against the Sagehens at 8:00 a.m. A win against Pomona-Pitzer will advance the Bruins to the quarterfinals where they will face the winner of Pepperdine/UC Irvine at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday (Oct. 12). If the Bruins win that game, they will advance to Sunday's semifinal at 12:15 p.m. The finals are slated for 6:15 p.m. on Sunday night. The tournament field features the Top 11 teams in the country and 15 of the 16 teams are ranked in the Top 16 in the nation.
A Look Back At Last Year's SoCal Invitational
The UCLA Bruins finished third with a 14-7 win over No. 5 UC Irvine. The Bruins opened with a 17-3 win over No. 17 Santa Clara and then posted a 14-7 win over No. 7 Pepperdine in the quarterfinals. But the second-ranked Bruins were upset by No. 6 UC Santa Barbara, 11-10 in the semifinals.
Recapping Last Week
The No. 1 UCLA men's water polo team improved to 15-0 on the season with a 17-2 win at No. 12 UC San Diego (7-8) on Oct. 4 at Canyonview Aquatics Center. Senior utility Aimone Barabino had a career-high four goals for UCLA as 11 different Bruins scored.
The Bruins’ defense has been stellar in the early going of the 2013 season. No team has scored more than eight goals against UCLA on the year. UCLA only gave up 21 goals in the four games of the NorCal Invitational, which was four fewer than its next closest competitor, USC. Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Garrett Danner is second in the MPSF in goals against average (4.95 gaa) as the Bruins lead the MPSF as a team, allowing just 4.20 goals per game. Danner also ranks fourth in the league in saves per game (11.11 spg).
UCLA true and redshirt freshmen are making huge contributions in 2013. In addition to redshirt freshman goalkeeper Garrett Danner, there are six freshmen (only two of them redshirts) that are playing heavy minutes. The freshmen account for 39.1 percent of the team’s scoring (93-of-238 goals). Freshman Lovre Milos leads the team with 24 goals (1.7 gpg), which ranks 16th in the MPSF. Freshman Ryder Roberts is tied for 6th on the team in scoring with 15 goals. Redshirt freshman Alec Zwaneveld and freshman Jack Fellner (11 goals) are tied for ninth on the squad in scoring. Freshman Chancellor Ramirez (nine goals) is 11th on the team in scoring. Roberts is currently second on the team in assists (23) while Fellner leads the squad in steals (23) and Roberts is third (17).
Scoring at a High Percentage
While UCLA ranks third in the MPSF in goals per game (15.87 gpg), the Bruins are currently scoring on 51.0 percent of their shots. Eleven Bruins are shooting better than 55 percent, led by redshirt freshmen Alec Zwaneveld’s 68.8 percent (11-for-16). Junior Christopher Meinhold is shooting 66.7 percent (6-for-9). Senior Paul Pickell is 3rd on the team at 64.3 percent (9-for-14) and sophomore Anthony Daboub ranks 4th at 62.5 percent (10-for-16). Senior Lucas Reynolds (22-for-36) rounds out the top five at 61.1 percent.
Wright On Deck For Year Five
The Bruins are led by fifth-year head coach Adam Wright, who has compiled a 106-23 (.822) record, including a 24-8 (.750) 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.