Based on the recent matches between the Bruins and the Golden Bears, last Saturday’s water polo match against UC Berkeley was virtually certain to be a knockdown, dragout affair.
And, it was, at least until the third quarter.
The teams finished the first quarter tied 3-3. The Golden Bears got on the scoreboard first when Nikos Delagrammatikas scored and Johnny Hooper gave them a 2-0 lead about a minute and a half later.
UCLA responded by scoring three goals of their own to take a 3-2 lead. Warren Snyder’s power play goal was followed by the first of Matt Farmer’s three goals. Junior David Stiling got the Bruins the lead on a power play goal, but Safak Simsek scored for the Bears to tie it up before the end of the quarter.
Luca Cupido got the lead back for the Golden Bears but Nicolas Saveljic tied it back up for the Bruins on a penalty shot. UC Berkeley got the next two goals to take a 6-4 lead, but again the UCLA responded and it was Farmer’s second goal of the game that closed the gap to just a goal. Odysseas Masmanidis added his second score of the period to widen that gap back to two before Farmer completed his hat trick to cut the UC Berkeley lead to 7-6 at the half.
The third quarter would prove fatal, however, for the Bruins as UC Berkeley would score three goals while only giving up one to Saveljic for UCLA, but former Bruin Spencer Farrar’s power play goal with less than a minute left in the third would prove to be the game winner as UC Berkeley led 10-7 with just 8 minutes to play.
In the fourth quarter, Chasen Travisano scored to cut the Golden Bears’ lead to two, but UC Berkeley responded just over a minute later to make it 11-8 with 5:20 to play. Alex Roelse scored with 3:46 left, but it was too little, too late as Masmanidis completed his hat trick less than 20 seconds later and the Golden Bears came out with a 12-9 win.
This afternoon, the Bruins welcome the #5 Pacific Tigers to Dirks Pool for a non-conference matchup. UCLA could really use a big win to help boost them back up in the poll after the loss to UC Berkeley.