After crushing Penn State Behrand, 18-1, yesterday in their first game of the MPSF Men’s Water Polo Tournament, the Bruins will face top-seeded Stanford this morning at 11 am.
Last Time Out
Yesterday’s game against the Penn State Behrand Lions was over less than a minute after the start. Felix Brozyna-Vilim got the Bruins on the board 16 seconds into the game on an even strength goal. That was almost enough to win this one, but, 42 seconds later, Brozyna-Vilim single-handedly finished off the Lions when he scored the eventual game-winning goal as UCLA took a 2-0 lead.
Nicolas Saveljic added an insurance goal 34 seconds after that and the rout was on. UCLA would score four more goals in the first quarter to head into the second with a 7-0 lead. The Bruins continued the offensive onslaught in the second when they added another six goals. Brozyna-Vilim’s fourth goal of the game with just a second left in the half was the extra point to his team’s touchdown and UCLA had a 14-0 lead at the half.
UCLA might as well have brought in JJ Molson at that point because they added the equivalent of a field goal in the third quarter to make it 17-0 after three.
In the fourth quarter, Chasen Travisano scored the Bruins’ lone goal with 4:18 left which made it 18-0, UCLA. Penn State Behrand scored their lone goal with 2:22 to go, ending the shutout.
Brozyna-Vilim scored a total of five goals in the game while Travisano and Quentin Osborne both had hat tricks. Saveljic and Michael Graner added two goals each while Evan Rosenfield, David Stiling and Bailey Jarvis each had a goal.
As the MPSF regular season champion, Stanford earned a bye and the top seed in this weekend’s tournament, even though the Cardinal lost two weeks ago to the Bruins, 10-8, at the Spieker Aquatics Center.
Today’s game is going to be an absolute battle. UCLA and Stanford have split the two games they’ve played so far this year with the Cardinal topping the Bruins, 8-7, at the Mountain Pacific Invitational which was hosted by Stanford while UCLA won their official MPSF game two weeks ago.
In the game at Stanford, the Cardinal needed a last-second goal to break a 7-7 tie and prevent overtime. Meanwhile, two weeks ago, UCLA managed to score nine goals in the first three quarters while holding Stanford to just 5 points over the same timeframe. A frantic comeback attempt by the Cardinal fell short.
So, today’s game will be on hostile territory for both teams, but the Bruins have to travel less than the Cardinal. So, I give UCLA the edge in this one, especially after being able to play a tune-up game yesterday. It will still be a knockdown dragout fight until the very end, but the Bruins should come out on top.
This is your MSPF Men’s Water Polo Semifinal game thread.