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Bruin Bites: We're Still Number 1 in Soccer and Water Polo

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While we scout out hotels in San Antonio (Alamo Bowl) and best traffic routes to San Diego (Holiday Bowl), and while we ponder the extra year before TIARA exits Pauley, we have quality teams competing for title number 112. Here's a recap of last week's action.

Sam Mewis continues her clutch performance for the Bruins
Sam Mewis continues her clutch performance for the Bruins
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Here is to all the UCLA student-athletes who are sacrificing their soclal lives and other aspects of the collegiate lifestyle to compete for their teammates, their coaches, and their school in Olympic Sports this fall. Your dedication is independent of results on the football field and mysterious decisions in Morgan Center surrounding our basketball program. It would be great to just shut out all the noise around football and baskeball, and celebrate without reservation our success in other sports.

But it is hard, to be honest. It is hard not to see this as a major down weekend for UCLA athletics. Partly this is a function of the schedule. If UCLA had an Olympic sport with the opportunity for a major takedown of a top 2-3 opponent, or a major advance into the postseason, things would be different. It just happens that we are still fairly early in the season, and the momentous opportunities were not there this week.

What we did see this week in the revenue sports was the unsatisfying display of ineptitude on the part of our football coaching staff on Saturday night (with apparently a literal flipping off of the fanbase by our OC). And what we also saw this week was a figurative flipping off of the fanbase by Doughnut on Friday, as he extended the contract of TIARA for a job not well done.

It would be an impossible order for our Olympic Sports student-athletes to get this bad taste completely out of our mouths. Again, this is no fault of theirs. This rests on the heads of Doughnut, his minions, his enabler Block, and the football coaching staff. With that said, let's turn to the Olympic Sports and celebrate our successes.

---The defending champion Women's Soccer team opened the home conference schedule with two games and came away with identical 1-0 victories. On Friday, the Bruins faced Utah, and prevailed on a 2nd half goal by senior and USA national team member Sam Mewis. Junior and under-23 USA national team member Taylor Smith had the assist on the goal. The Bruins outshot Utah 13-7, in handing the Utes their first loss this season. Here is the recap from the UCLA website.

Sunday was another close affair, as the Bruins won 1-0 against Colorado. The difference again was a Sam Mewis second half goal. The assist this time came from redshirt freshman Zoey Goralski. The Bruins outshot Colorado 9-7. Here is the boxscore from the official website.

Next week features a monster match on Thursday, as UCLA hosts #3 Stanford at 8pm. The Pac-12 network will cover the action. Next Monday, the Bruins host #12 California at 7pm. This match will also be covered on the Pac-12 network. The Bruins head into these matches undefeated, with a record of 10-0-2, 2-0-1 in conference.

--- The #1 ranked Men's Water Polo team had two convincing victories last week. On Friday, the Bruins trounced #12 Pepperdine 15-7 at home. Junior Danny McClintick had a hat trick, and was joined in the scoring by eight teammates. Here is the UCLA website summary.

On Saturday, the Bruins hosted #17 Loyola Marymount in a non-conference matchup. And UCLA came out ahead with a convincing 12-2 victory. Senior Paul Reynolds and senior Chris Fahlsing registered hat tricks. Coach Wright was able to give goalkeeper Garrett Danner a breather in the 2nd half, as the Bruins coasted. Here is the recap.

Next up is a non-conference match against Princeton on Thursday, followed by the SoCal tourney on Saturday and Sunday. The Bruins head into this action with a perfect 15-0 record, 2-0 in conference.

--- After losing to USD last week, the Men's Soccer team fell to #2 in the rankings. The Bruins bounced back in the conference opener, winning 1-0 on the road against San Diego State. Junior Larry Ndjock scored the game winner towards the end of the first half, with an assist on the German connection by sophomore Felix Vobejda. Having just returned from an intensive survey of German soccer (as well as the occasional schnitzel and Maß bier at Oktoberfest), I can say that I am all for more results by the UCLA team which mirror those of the Mannschaft.

The Bruins hit the road this week, with matches at #18 Stanford on Thursday night (8 pm) and at #13 Cal on Sunday night (5pm). Both matches will be on the Pac-12 network. UCLA is currently 6-2-2, 1-0 in conference.

--- Lastly, the #20 Women's Volleyball team traveled to the state of Washington last week. The Bruins gave #4 Washington all they could handle before falling in five sets on Friday night. The scores were 25-18, 26-24, 17-25, 20-25 and 10-15. UCLA bounded back on Sunday with a four set win over Washington State. Set scores were 26-24, 25-16, 22-25, 25-23.

Next up are two "home" matches in Malibu. This passes for logic in Doughnut's world, as does extending the contract of TIARA. On Friday, the Bruins host Utah at 8 pm. On Sunday, the Bruins host Colorado at 11 am. The Bruins need to win these matches to keep pace with the field. UCLA is currently 11-4, 2-2 in conference.

Hats off to our Olympic Sports student-athletes. I wish they could compete without the cloud/stench of Doughnut hanging over them. Their success is even more remarkable in context.

Here's to the quest for #112. Go Bruins !!