No. 1 UCLA Downs No. 5 UC Santa Barbara, 11-4
Nov. 19, 2011
LOS ANGELES - The No. 1 UCLA men's water polo team earned an 11-4 win over No. 5 UC Santa Barbara at Spieker Aquatics Center on Saturday, the final day of regular-season action among MPSF teams.
Paul Reynolds scored a game-high three goals to lead the Bruins.
UCLA has earned the No. 3 seed at the upcoming MPSF Touranment, hosted by the Bruins at Spieker Aquatics Center from Nov. 25-27 (view complete bracket). UCLA will face No. 6-seed Pepperdine on Friday at 1:30 p.m.
UCLA (20-4, 6-2 MPSF) received at least one goal from eight players. Griffin White netted two goals and was UCLA's only other player to record multiple goals.
"Defensively, we played much better than we did last night against USC," head coach Adam Wright said. "That's important because we talked about that last night. We need to get even better defensively. Going into next weekend, our defense has to be very good."
The Bruins will host the upcoming MPSF Touranment at Spieker Aquatics Center beginning next Friday. The tournament runs from Nov. 25-27, with the winner securing an automatic berth to the NCAA Championships (Dec. 3-4, at California).
"It was nice to see several contributors and a balanced attack against UC Santa Barbara. Our three seniors each had a chance to make some plays, which is always good to see on Senior Day. Now, we have a few days to prepare for the MPSF Tournament."
Against UC Santa Barbara (15-10, 3-5 MPSF), UCLA led from the start. The Bruins claimed a 2-0 cushion after the first quarter, taking advantage of goals from Josh Samuels (7:14) and Chris Wendt (4:09).
UCLA extended its margin to 4-0, as Bret Lathrope (6:35) and White (4:31) each found the back of the cage. White scored on a 6-on-5 opportunity. UC Santa Barbara got on the board with an advantage goal from Eric Van de Mortel with 3:01 to play before halftime. The Bruins added two goals from Paul Reynolds before the break (at 2:48 and at 1:16).
Leading 6-1 at halftime, UCLA continued adding to its cushion. White scored at 6:50 in the third quarter on a 6-on-5 opportunity. UC Santa Barbara sliced the Bruins' advantage to 7-3 with goals on extra-man plays from Teddy Zhang (5:35) and Jesse Gillespie (4:31).
The Bruins led after three quarters, 8-3, receiving a penalty shot goal from Reynolds at the 3:23 mark in the third period.
UCLA outscored UC Santa Barbara, 3-1, in the final period.
Junior goalkeeper Matt Rapacz made six saves for UCLA, allowing three goals. Rapacz played through the first half and until the 1:15 mark in the third quarter. Senior goalkeeper Andrew Mesesan was credited with two saves and allowed one goal in the game's final 9:15.
UC Santa Barbara goalkeeper Myles Christian netted 10 saves, including six stops in the first half.
The MPSF Tournament begins at UCLA on Friday, Nov. 25. The Bruins will open the tournament facing No. 6-seed Pepperdine. UCLA's game time on Friday is 1:30 p.m.
No. 5 UC Santa Barbara at No. 1 UCLA (MPSF match)
UC Santa Barbara Goals: Scott Bishop, Jesse Gillespie, Eric Van de Mortel, Teddy Zhang
CLick for Bruin Video