On Deck This Week
No. 2 UCLA (21-2, 2-1 MPSF) hosts No. 5 California (13-4, 2-1 MPSF) on Nov. 1 at 4:35 p.m. at Spieker Aquatics Center. The game will be aired live on Pac-12 LA at 4:35 p.m. and will be rebroadcast on Pac-12 National and Paac-12 LA on Friday night at 10 p.m. with Jason Knapp (play-by-play) and Adam Krikorian (analyst) calling the action. The Bruins will also host No. 10 Concordia (17-8) at 7:00 p.m. on Nov. 1 in a non-conference tilt.
UCLA is 75-65-1 all-time vs. California. The Bruins defeated the Golden Bears 6-5 in the semifinals of the NorCal Invitational (Sept. 22). UCLA is 5-3 vs. California the last three years (since 2011), with all five wins coming by one goal. The Bruins are 5-0 all-time vs. Concordia, defeating the Eagles 17-4 (Sept. 21) in the first round of the NorCal Invitational.
Recapping Last Week
The No. 2 UCLA men’s water polo team earned its first two MPSF victories of 2013 with an 18-5 win at No. 8 UC Irvine (Oct. 25) and then a 12-10 come-from-behind win over No. 3 Pacific at home (Oct. 27). The Bruins trailed by as many as three goals (6-3 and 7-4) in the first half against the Tigers. UCLA dominated the fourth quarter, 4-1, en route to the 12-10 victory. Aimone Barabino led UCLA with three goals at UC Irvine while Danny McClintick and Cristiano Mirarchi each had hat tricks against Pacific.
Beating the Best
UCLA is the only team in the country with victories over the other Top 6 programs in 2013. The second-ranked Bruins have already defeated No. 1 USC, No. 3 Pacific, No. 4 Stanford, No. 5 California and No. 6 UCSB.
The Bruins’ defense has been stellar for most of the season, allowing only USC and Pacific 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) and Pacific scored 10 in the 12-10 loss at UCLA last week (Oct. 27). Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Garrett Danner is second in the MPSF in goals against average (5.62 gaa) as the Bruins lead the MPSF as a team, allowing just 4.78 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 38.4 percent of the team’s scoring (133-of-346 goals). Freshman Lovre Milos leads the team with 34 goals. Freshman Gordon Marshall is tied for 5th on the team in scoring with 24 goals while freshman Ryder Roberts is 7th with 23 goals. Freshmen Jack Fellner (17 goals) and Chancellor Ramirez (16 goals) are 10th and 11th, respectively, on the team in scoring. Redshirt freshman Alec Zwaneveld is 15th with 11 goals. Roberts is currently 2nd on the team in assists (32) while three of them lead the team in steals (1. Danner-38; 2. Roberts-29; 2. Fellner-29).
Scoring at a High Percentage
While UCLA ranks third in the MPSF in goals per game (15.04 gpg), the Bruins are currently scoring on 47.3 percent of their shots. Nine Bruins are shooting better than 50 percent, led by senior Lucas Reynolds’ 58.3 percent (28-for-48). There are eight different Bruins averaging at least one goal per game. Junior Paul Reynolds is 16th in the MPSF (1.57 gpg) while Lovre Milos is 18th in the MPSF (1.55 gpg).
Against Ranked Teams
The Bruins are 15-2 (.882) against ranked teams in 2013. On the season, UCLA has outscored its opposition by 11.0 goals per game (346-110, 15.04-4.78 gpg). The Bruins are outscoring ranked teams by 7.59 goals per game (219-90, 12.88-5.29 gpg).
Wright On Deck For Year Five
The Bruins are led by fifth-year head coach Adam Wright, who has compiled a 112-25 (.818) record, including a 26-9 (.743) 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.