The undefeated #2 UCLA men’s water polo team travels down the 405 for a clash against the #7 Long Beach State 49ers.
Last Time Out
The Bruins swept last Saturday’s doubleheader. In the opening game of the twinbill, UCLA defeated Pepperdine. 16-10. Just 23 seconds into the game, freshman Jake Cavano scored the first of five goals for the game to get UCLA on the scoreboard first. Nicolas Saveljic made it 2-0 before the Waves scored on a power play. After Luke Hendriksson scored with 4:47 left in the first, Saveljic scored his second of the game and it was 4-1, Bruins. Not to be outdone, Cavano added his second less than 30 seconds after Saveljic. Quentin Osborne’s scored on a penalty shot while Felix Brozyna-Vilim gave UCLA a 7-3 lead heading into the second quarter.
Brozyna-Vilim and Ashworth Molthen increased the Bruin lead to 9-3 before Pepperdine scored their only goal of the second quarter on a penalty shot. Cavano and Saveljic each finished their hat tricks with Saveljic’s goal proving to be the game-winner. Evan Rosenfeld wrapped up the first half scoring by giving UCLA a 12-4 lead at the break.
After the barrage that was the first half, the third quarter proved to be the opposite. Osborne’s second goal of the game was the only one in the period for the Bruins while the Waves managed to score twice.
In the fourth quarter, Cavano added two more goals while freshman Matthew Kacura scored the Bruins’ final goal as UCLA cruised to a 16-10 win.
In the Bruins’ second game of the day against Loyola Marymount, Rosenfeld got the Bruins’ offense started while Cavano picked right up where he left off against Pepperdine. Austin Rone also scored in the first and UCLA had a 3-0 lead.
Loyola Marymount managed to score their first goal about a minute and half into the second quarter before Cavano continued his offensive barrage with his second of this game. Rone’s second goal of the game gave UCLA a 5-1 lead at the half.
Raphael Reade picked up the first two goals of the second half and Molthen made it 8-1 with 4:27 to go. Following the Lions’ first goal of the quarter, Cavano finished his second hat trick of the day by scoring the eventual game-winner and giving UCLA a 9-1 lead. Osborne made it 10-2 before the Lions scored on a pair of power plays. Cavano’s fourth goal of the game was UCLA’s final goal of the third quarter and Blazo Mitrovic scored his third with seven seconds left to make it 11-5 after three.
In the fourth quarter, Peter Lovas and Eric Goldenberg scored their first goals of the day while Reade added one more to finish his hat trick as the Bruins went on to finish off the Lions, 14-8.
Long Beach State 49ers
Although Long Beach State comes into the contest with a 6-3 record, don’t let that fool you. They’ve had one of the tougher schedules so far this season, with two of their losses coming against #4 UC Berkeley and #5 UC Santa Barbara. Their third loss came against #11 UC San Diego.
So, apparently, Long Beach State has problems when they play the UC schools in water polo.
Kidding aside, Long Beach State has a bevy of talent offensively and they will be looking to attack throughout tonight’s game against the Bruins. Austin Stewart has amassed a team-high 25 points so far this season, converting on 19 of 24 shots (79.2%) to go along with 6 assists. Another player to watch out for is Chandler Kaltenbach, he’s converted all 13 of his shots and one assist to tally 14 points in the early going.
However, 49er goalkeeper Marwan Darwish has had his fair share of struggles this season. He’s averaging 8.24 goals allowed per game to go along with a mediocre 41.9 save percentage in 167:00 minutes this year. His life won’t get any easier against a high-octane UCLA men’s water polo attack.
Look for Osborne to continue his scorching hot season in which he’s already tallied a whopping 25 goals. The UCLA Bruins have eight players who have scored at least 10 goals so far this season. While Saveljic is second on the team with 18 goals, you can’t forget about the hot hand of Cavano, who scored nine of his ten goals so far this season in two games last Saturday.
This should be a good early season test for the Bruins, as they continue their quest to defend their water polo championship. But, make no mistake. The Bruins should enjoy the bus ride home tonight after another win.