Tomorrow has the potential to be one of those days Bruin fans will never forget. That’s because UCLA now has two teams which will be playing for a national championship. Of course, we know that the UCLA Women’s Soccer team advanced to the Women’s College Cup Final tomorrow against Stanford by beating Duke last night.
This afternoon, the UCLA Men’s Water Polo team defeated the Pacific Tigers, 11-9, to advance to the Water Polo Final tomorrow as well.
The Bruins got on the scoreboard first when Jack Grover got a shot into the net just over a minute into the game. Just under two minutes later, Nicolas Saveljic put UCLA up by two.
But, the Tigers weren’t going away that easy. Pacific came roaring back with three goals including two power play goals to take the lead after the first quarter, 3-2.
Midway through the second quarter, Alex Roelse tied the game up at 3-3 while Max Irving followed that up 1:21 later with another UCLA goal to give the Bruins a 4-3 lead and, as it turned out, Irving’s shot gave UCLA the lead for good as the Tigers would be unable to catch the Bruins again.
Saveljic’s second goal of that game with 1:48 left in the half gave UCLA a 5-3 edge, which was the score at the half.
The third quarter was a high-scoring one for both teams. Felix Brozyna-Vilim started the scoring for the Bruins when he picked up UCLA’s sixth goal of the game just 22 seconds into the period.
But, Pacific wasn’t going away. Luke Pavillard closed the gap back to 2 with just under 7 minutes left in the third to make it 6-4, UCLA. A little more than a minute later, Irving picked up his second goal of the game for the Bruins and it was a 3-goal advantage again for UCLA.
Just about midway through the third quarter, Saveljic completed his hat trick and it started to look like UCLA was going to win the game as they now had an 8-4 lead, but it took the Tigers less than 30 seconds to score and it was now 8-5.
In the final two minutes of the third, Austin Rone scored to push the Bruins’ lead back to 4, but, again, the Tigers responded. This time, it was a goal by Ben Stevenson that made it 9-6 Bruins to end the third quarter.
Twenty-five seconds into the fourth, Pacific added a power play goal to cut the lead back down to just 2 and it stayed 9-7 until there was just 4:40 left. That’s when Glover picked up his second goal of the game and the one that would, ultimately, prove to be the game winner for UCLA.
Luis Araya would close the gap back down to 2 for the Tigers with 2:41 to go, but Roelse netted his second of the game just 37 seconds later and the UCLA lead was 11-8. But Pacific would only be able to take one more shot in the final two minutes and that wasn’t until Stevenson scored his second goal with just 18 seconds left and the Bruins claimed the victory.
They now await the winner of tonight’s game between UC Berkeley and Southern Cal whom they will play tomorrow afternoon at 3 pm PT. Hopefully, by then, they will be playing for NC #115. But, at the very least, UCLA will have two chances tomorrow to pick up National Championship #114.