LOS ANGELES -- The No. 2 UCLA men's water polo team posted a hard-fought 6-4 win over No. 5 California on Friday afternoon at Spieker Aquatics Center. The Bruins improved to 22-2 overall and 3-1 in the MPSF while the Golden Bears dropped to 13-5 overall and 2-2 in league play.
The Bruins led 2-0 and 3-1 before California tied it at 4-4 in the fourth quarter. But UCLA scored the final two goals in the waning minutes.
Junior Cristiano Mirarchi led the Bruins with a hat trick while Farrel South led the Golden Bears with two goals.
The Bruins struck first with a goal by Mirarchi with 2:29 left in the first period. That was the only score of the opening quarter.
UCLA built a 2-0 lead when freshman Ryder Roberts scored a power play goal (5:53). Aleksa Saponjic got the Golden Bears on the scoreboard with a 6-on-5 goal with 3:56 to go in the second period. Sophomore Anthony Daboub put the Bruins up 3-1 with an exclusion goal (2:44). UCLA extended the lead to 4-1 with a penalty score from Mirarchi (:22). Farrel South trimmed the Bruins' lead to 4-2 just before halftime (0:03) with a penalty goal.
California pitched a shutout in the third quarter but managed only one goal on a power play by Blake Kelly (1:23) as the Bruins led 4-3 heading into the fourth.
The Golden Bears scored on their first possession of the fourth period when South tied the game at 4-4 with a goal from the front court (7:24). Senior Chris Wendt scored the eventual game-winner from the front court to give the Bruins a 5-4 lead (4:02). Mirarchi provided an insurance goal on a 6-on-5 opportunity (1:53) to provide the final of 6-4.
Redshirt freshman Garrett Danner made the start in the cage for UCLA, playing all four quarters and was credited with 10 saves. He also picked up a save on a penalty shot with three seconds left in the game. Jon Sibley was credited with seven stops in the cage for California.
No. 5 California at No. 2 UCLA
|No. 5 California||0||2||1||1||4|
|No. 2 UCLA||1||3||0||2||6|
California Goals: Farrel South 2, Blake Kelly, Aleksa Saponjic
California Saves: Jon Sibley 7