The top ranked UCLA Men’s Water Polo team (21-0) welcomes the sixth ranked Stanford Cardinal (12-3) to Westwood today. The two squads will battle at UCLA’s Spieker Aquatics Center at 11:30 a.m. PT. The Bruins will look to extend their NCAA record winning streak to 55 games. Here are the details of the game:
Opponent: Stanford Cardinal
When: Saturday, October 29, 2016, at 11:30 a.m. PT
Where: Spieker Aquatics Center
How to Follow: PAC 12 Networks
Today’s game will mark The Cardinal’s third straight game away from home. Last weekend, Stanford lost to #7 UC Santa Barbara, 7-6, before rebounding the next day at #8 Pepperdine, 9-5.
Two of the Cardinal’s three losses, including last weekend’s loss, have been by a margin of one goal. Those other losses are to #4 Pacific, 9-8, at the Mountain Pacific Invitational, and to #3 Southern Cal, 8-4, in Palo Alto.
Stanford is led by sophomore Blake Parrish, who has notched 36 goals on the season. Close behind him is sophomore Mitchell Mendoza, who has 28 goals. Junior Cody Smith has 25.
Cardinal goalkeeper, Oliver Lewis, has allowed 70 goals (6.44 goals per game), with 116 saves. Andrew Chun has also seen time in net, but expect Lewis to play against UCLA.
UCLA has not faced the Cardinal this season, although the Bruins prevailed in both matches against Stanford last season, both of which were contested in Palo Alto.
The Bruins are coming off a tight, 7-6 victory over #2 UC Berkeley last weekend. Although the Bruins never trailed, they never led the Golden Bears by more than two goals. UC Berkeley tied the game 5-5 early in the 4th period, and again 6-6 with 3:42 left in the game. Senior Patrick Fellner was able to put the game winner home with 2:07 left in game.
Here are highlights from the Berkeley win (UCLA in white):
UCLA's scoring is more balanced than Stanford, with six Bruins scoring 20 or more goals. Fellner, a senior, leads the team with 29 goals, followed closely by junior Max Irving with 26.
I really like what UCLA Head Coach, Adam Wright, is doing with the Bruin goalkeepers. Senior, Garrett Danner, is the top dog, having been in net for UCLA's back-to-back championships, but junior Aleksander Ruzic has played a ton too. In fact, Ruzic has logged more minutes and actually has a better goals against average than Danner (4.95 to 5.32). Both guys have started 10 games for the Bruins.
Expect Danner to start today, although Ruzic will be the man next season, so it is good to get him involved a lot this year.
Stanford is good, but UCLA has a talent advantage. Barring a major upset, UCLA should extend its streak to 55 wins. I see UCLA winning by four goals.
Bruin fans! Take a break from college football (we all need that break) and watch a team that all Bruins can be proud of. Opening sprint is at 11:30 a.m. PT on the PAC 12 Network.