In what was a must-win game for UCLA, the Bruins prevailed over Southern Cal last Saturday. UCLA trailed for most of the game, but the Bruins battled back all game long.
After Southern Cal jumped out to a 2-0 lead, Max Irving and Alex Roelse tied it back up. But, before the quarter ended, the Trojans scored again to lead 3-2 after one.
UCLA tied it back up again when Chasen Travisano scored the first goal of the second quarter, but Southern Cal scored the next two to make it 5-3. Max Irving’s second goal with 2:42 left in the half cut the deficit to one at the half.
The Trojans scored first in the second half to increase their lead back to two before Irving tied it back up with two consecutive goals, giving him four for the game. The Bruins took their first lead of the game when senior Warren Snyder scored with 5:24 left in the third quarter. Two straight goals from Southern Cal followed by Nicolas Saveljic’s first of the game ended the third quarter with an 8-8 tie.
The Trojans grabbed the lead back with the first goal of the fourth quarter but Roelse’s second goal tied the game back at 9-9 and some good defense from Bruin goalkeeper Alex Wold sent the game in overtime.
In the first overtime period, the teams traded goals with Southern Cal scoring first again before Saveljic picked up his second goal. Roelse finished his hat trick in the second overtime giving UCLA an 11-10 lead and it looked like that would be how the game ended before the Trojans scored with just 38 seconds left in the second overtime.
That sent the game into sudden victory overtime. Matt Farmer drew a penalty shot which Roelse took and made for his fourth goal of the game and the Bruin victory.
That win earned UCLA the #3 seed in this weekend’s MPSF Tournament.
Today, they face the UC Berkeley Golden Bears in a semifinal match. The winner advances to the championship game on Sunday. The loser plays the third place team from Pool A tomorrow for the right to play in the third place game on Sunday.
The importance of today’s game cannot be understated. A win should ensure that the team advances to the NCAA Tournament. A loss will make it a lot tougher to make the tourney. So far this year, UCLA has split the two games they played against the Bears. The Bruins won the first meeting in September 9-8 but UC Berkeley won the second meeting in Westwood pretty easily 12-9.
So, the Bruin need to bring their ‘A’ game today if they want to ensure that they will make the NCAA Tournament in a few weeks.
This is your UCLA vs UC Berkeley Men’s Water Polo open thread.