LOS ANGELES. -- The No. 2 UCLA men's water polo team rallied to post a 12-10 win over No. 3 Pacific on Sunday afternoon at Spieker Aquatics Center. The Bruins improved to 21-2 overall and 2-1 in the MPSF while the Tigers dropped to 15-3 overall and 2-1 in league play. The Bruins also improved to 41-3 all-time against Pacific.
The Bruins trailed by as many as three goals at 6-3 and 7-4 in the first half before mounting their second-half comeback.
Sophomore Danny McClintick and redshirt junior Cristiano Mirarchi (all in the second half) both completed hat tricks to lead the Bruins. Kevin Oliveira led Pacific with three goals (all in the first half)
Oliveira got things started with a power play goal at the 6:45 mark of the first period. But McClintick fired a low skip shot to the right corner to tie it up at 1-1 (4:27). Balazs Erdelyi (2:34) and Goran Tomasevic gave Pacific a 3-1 (:49) lead. But freshman Ryder Roberts scored on a low skipper (:03) after the Tigers committed a turnover to pull the Bruins to within one at 3-2 heading into the second quarter.
Senior Aimone Barabino tied it at 3-3 on the first possession of the second quarter (7:40) with a nice backhand shot from set. Then Pacific reeled off three straight goals to build a 6-3 lead. Oliveira scored from the front court (6:31) and then completed his hat trick (5:32) with an exclusion goal. Aleksandar Petrovic capped the scoring run with a goal with 4:02 left in the second. Then after the Bruins called timeout, McClintick netted his second of the game to trim the lead to 6-4 (3:40). Casey Fleming pushed the lead back to three (7-4) with an exclusion goal (3:12). Freshman Lovre Milos fired a shot from the front court that clipped the right post and went in (2:50) to end the scoring in the first half with the Tigers leading UCLA 7-5 at the break.
The Bruins again got an early goal in the third period to trim the lead to 7-6 when Milos scored his second from distance (7:22). Alex Obert pushed the lead back to two at 8-6 with a goal at the 3:55 mark. Junior Paul Reynolds made it 8-7 with a goal from the front court (1:01). But Pacific again pushed the lead to two (9-7) with an extra man goal (0:46). UCLA cut the lead to 9-8 when Mirarchi scored the goal of the game, outhustling the Tigers to a rebounded shot in front of the cage and whipping around a wicked backhand shot with 0:12 left in the third.
UCLA dominated the fourth period, posting four goals while holding the Tigers to a game-low one score in the quarter. Mirarchi used the momentum gained at the end of the third to tie it at 9-9 with a power play goal, the Bruins only 6-on-5 score of the game, with 7:23 to go in the fourth. Then senior Chris Wendt gave the Bruins their first lead of the game with a low skip shot near the right post (5:44) to make it 10-9. Mirarchi completed his hat trick to extend the lead to 11-9 (4:13) with a goal from the front court. But Pacific got right back in it, trimming the lead to 11-10, with a power play goal (3:43) by Ben Stevenson. McClintick then capped off his hat trick and the scoring in the game at 12-10, with a dramatic goal, beating the Tigers' goalkeeper with a lob shot as the shot clock expired (1:45).
Redshirt freshman Garrett Danner made the start in the cage for UCLA, playing all four quarters, making a season-low five saves, but came up huge in the fourth with three important stops. Alex Malkis manned the cage for Pacific and was credited with eight stops.
The Bruins return to action on Friday, Nov. 1 when they host a Top 10 double-header with No. 5 California (4:30 p.m.) on the Pac-12 Networks and No. 10 Concordia (7:00 p.m.).
No. 3 Pacific at No. 2 UCLA
|No. 3 Pacific||3||4||2||1||10|
|No. 2 UCLA||2||3||3||4||12|
Pacific Goals: Kevin Oliveira 3, Balazs Erdelyi 2, Goran Tomasevic, Alex Obert, Casey Fleming, Aleksandar Petrovic, Ben Stevenson
Pacific Saves: Alex Malkis 8