On Deck This Week
No. 3 UCLA (24-2, 4-1 MPSF) travels to No. 7 Pepperdine (9-11, 1-5 MPSF) on Nov. 16 at 11:00 a.m. The Bruins then return home to host No. 6 UC Santa Barbara (16-8, 3-4 MPSF) on “Senior Day” at 11:00 a.m. on Nov. 17. The game against the Gauchos will be televised live on the Pac-12 Networks. Pacific and Stanford are tied for first at 5-1 in the MPSF while USC and UCLA are a half game back at 4-1.
UCLA is 71-31-1 all-time vs. Pepperdine. The Bruins defeated the Waves 8-7 in a non-conference game on the Pac-12 Networks back on Sept. 27 at Spieker Aquatics Center. UCLA is 95-17-1 all-time vs. UC Santa Barbara. The Bruins defeated the Gauchos 10-4 earlier this year in the quarterfinals of the NorCal Invitational on Sept. 21.
Recapping Last Week
The No. 2 UCLA men’s water polo team improved to 24-2 overall and 4-1 in the MPSF with a 9-5 league win at No. 8 Long Beach State on Nov. 9. Senior Lucas Reynolds and junior Paul Reynolds each scored two goals for UCLA. Redshirt freshman Garrett Danner played the entire game in goal for the Bruins and was credited with 12 saves.
Beating the Best
UCLA has beaten every other Top 10 team in the country in 2013 and 13 of this week’s Top 20. The third-ranked Bruins have already defeated No. 1 Pacific, No. 2 USC, No. 4 Stanford, No. 5 California, No. 6 UC Santa Barbara, No. 7 Pepperdine, No. 8 Long Beach State, No. 9 UC Irvine and No. 10 UC San Diego.
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 on the board in a 12-11 double overtime win in the finals of the SoCal Invitational (Oct. 13), Concordia lost 15-11 at UCLA on Nov. 1 and Pacific suffered a 12-10 loss at UCLA on Oct. 27. Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Garrett Danner leads the MPSF in goals against average (5.47 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 38.8 percent of the team’s scoring (146-of-376 goals). Freshman Lovre Milos leads the team with 36 goals. Freshman Ryder Roberts is 5th on the team in scoring (29 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 12th, respectively, in scoring. Redshirt freshman Alec Zwaneveld is tied for 13th with 14 goals. Roberts is currently 2nd on the team in assists (36) while Danner (49) and Roberts (33) lead in steals.
Scoring at a High Percentage
While UCLA ranks fourth in the MPSF in goals per game (14.46 gpg), the Bruins are currently scoring on 46.4 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 seven different Bruins averaging at least one goal per game. Junior Paul Reynolds is 18th (1.46 gpg) in the MPSF in scoring while freshman Lovre Milos is 22nd (1.44 gpg).
Against Ranked Teams
The Bruins are 18-2 (.900) against ranked teams in 2013. On the season, UCLA has outscored its opposition by 9.46 goals per game (376-130, 14.46-5.00 gpg). The Bruins are outscoring ranked teams by 6.95 goals per game (249-110, 12.45-5.5 gpg).
Wright On Deck For Year Five
The Bruins are led by fifth-year head coach Adam Wright, who has compiled a 115-25 (.821) record, including a 29-9 (.763) 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.