In the world of college water polo, there are the Big Four teams, UCLA, Southern Cal, UC Berkeley and Stanford, and, then, there’s everybody else.
So, last week’s UCLA Invitational really amounted to three exhibition matches for the men’s water polo team, except for the fact that the first two games actually do count in the team’s records.
When the Bruins took to Dirks Pool last Saturday against Pomona-Pitzer, they started the season a little bit slowly. That is, the Sagehens took a 1-0 lead over UCLA less than a minute after the start of the game.
Twenty-three seconds later, the Bruins tied the game on a power play goal by freshman Luke Henriksson. After tying the game, UCLA opened up an offensive barrage with first quarter goals from Matt Farmer, Nicolas Saveljic, Warren Snyder and Alex Roelse and the Bruins led 5-1 after one.
But the barrage didn’t stop there.
UCLA scored the first four goals of the second quarter. Freshman Evan Rosenfeld’s goal was the first of the second quarter and proved to be the eventual game-winner while junior David Stiling, freshman Chasen Travisano, and freshman Quinten Osborne all found the net to stretch UCLA’s lead to 9-1.
Joseph Schafer scored the Sagehens’ second goal of the game to make it 9-2 with less than a minute to go in the half. But, the Bruins responded 12 seconds later and Osborne’s second goal gave UCLA a 10-2 halftime lead.
After sophomore Eric Goldenberg opened the third with UCLA’s eleventh goal of the game, the Sagehens added two consecutive goals to make it 11-4. The Bruins closed out the third with goals from sophomore James Vlachonassios, Osborne, who completed a hat trick, Travisano, and sophomore Raphael Raede to give UCLA a 15-4 lead after three.
In the fourth, Pomona-Pitzer scored their final goal and Junior Kent Inoue picked up UCLA’s final goal and the final score was Bruins 16, Sagehens 5.
In the second game, Saveljic opened the scoring for UCLA. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps managed to score the second goal of the game to tie it at 1-1 but then the Bruins scored the next eight goals to take a 9-1 lead before the Stags scored the only other goal of the game.
UCLA would go on to score 10 more times to give the Bruins a 19-2 win.
This game featured a hat trick from Saveljic, two goals each from Jack Grover, Jesse Camou, Roelse, Raphael Raede and Austin Rone, and one goal each from Osborne, Snyder, Vlachonassios, James Robinson, Henriksson, and Inoue.
This weekend, the Bruins travel across the country to the Princeton Invitational. Today, they play two matches. In the first, they will face the #17 George Washington Colonials and, later, they will play #18 St. Francis Brooklyn.
Both games should be easy wins for UCLA.