This afternoon, the UCLA men’s water polo team is back in action against UC Davis after defeating the Pacific Tigers yesterday afternoon, 8-5.
Last Time Out
UCLA started this weekend’s Northern California road trip yesterday against Pacific. A minute and a half into the game, David Stiling scored to put the Bruins on the scoreboard first. But, Pacific managed to score a pair of consecutive goals to take a 2-1 lead with just under three minutes left in the first quarter. UCLA tied it back up when Ashworth Molthen fed the ball to Felix Brozyna-Vilim who tied it up with just 15 seconds left in the quarter.
In the second, Jake Cavano put the Bruins ahead 3-2 with 6:04 left in the half and it stayed that way until Luis Araya added his second goal of the game to tie it back up with 1:41 left. In the last minute of the half, the Bruins re-took the lead for good with a powerplay goal by Austin Rone and a full-strength goal by Nicolas Saveljic as UCLA took a 5-3 lead into the break.
UCLA maintained their momentum into the third quarter as Evan Rosenfield scored the first goal of the second half to make it 6-3, Bruins. Rosenfield’s goal would ultimately prove to be the game-winner. Meanwhile, the Tigers tried to mount a comeback.
With 1:53 left in the third, Luke Pavillard cut the Bruins’ lead to two and, thirty seconds later, Engin Ege Colak scored his second of the game. That made the score UCLA 6, Pacific 5 heading into the fourth.
The Bruins were able to shut the door in the fourth. UCLA goalkeeper Alex Wolf didn’t allow another Tiger goal in the game while Saveljic added an insurance goal on a penalty shot just 25 seconds into the quarter and Brozyna-Vilim added one of his own with 3:09 left.
The win gives the Bruins a perfect 14-0 record so far this season.
UC Davis Aggies
The good news for Aggie fans is that UC Davis has had a good start to the season, going 8-3 in their first 11 games. It looks even better given the fact that two of those three losses came against #1 Southern Cal and #3 UC Berkeley. Their other loss was a narrow one in the season opener to then-#11 (and now-#7) Harvard by a score of 15-14.
They even avenged the loss to Harvard by winning a rematch at home against the Crimson, 10-9.
Of course, today, they face the #2 Bruins and, when it comes to college water polo, there really is a pretty big talent gap between the four Pac-12 schools that play men’s water polo and every other team. That means it would be a huge upset for the Aggies to upset UCLA today.
You never say never, but I’ll be surprised if the Bruins don’t have this one wrapped up by the end of the third quarter and maybe even by halftime.
Bruins 15, Aggies 9.
This is your UCLA men’s water polo vs. UC Davis open thread.