It’s a battle of top three teams tonight at the Spieker Aquatics Center when the UCLA men’s water polo team host the #3 Pacific Tigers at 7 pm PT.
Last Time Out
Last Friday night, the Bruins hosted the UCSB Gauchos in battle between Top Five teams. UCLA won the game 15-11, but it wasn’t quite as close as the final score suggests.
Tommy Gruwell opened the scoring with a goal for the Bruins about a minute into the game and, 51 seconds later, Felix Brozyna-Vilim made it 2-0, UCLA. From that point, it was really just a matter of how close the final score would be.
After a goal by the Gauchos, Chasen Travisano scored to make it 3-1 and Andy Rogers made it 4-1 with 1:39 left in the first. UCSB scored the final goal in the first quarter and it was 4-2, Bruins, after one.
Goalie Alex Wolf held the Gauchos scoreless in the second with four saves in the quarter and those four saves proved to be big ones as UCLA won by four. Meanwhile, Brozyna-Vilim scored UCLA’s first goal of the second quarter and second of the game while Gabe Discipulo added another Bruin goal to make it 6-2. Jack White joined the scoring party with 4:04 left in the half while Brozyna-Vilim completed his hat trick with the final goal of the half and UCLA led 8-2 midway through the game.
The Gauchos ended their drought with the first two goals of the second half. With 3:28 left in the quarter, Ashworth Molthen scored on a Bruin power play and Jack White put UCLA in double digits just 50 seconds later. Just a minute later, Rogers scored his second to put the Bruins ahead 11-4. UCSB scored twice in the final 57 seconds of the third quarter to cut the lead to five after the third quarter.
Molthen’s second goal opened the fourth quarter scoring just 34 seconds into the quarter on a penalty shot. UCSB cut the lead back to five 22 seconds later, but Gruwell’s second goal pushed it back to six. Less than a minute later, UCSB responded to make it 13-8, but Molthen finished his hat trick 29 seconds later.
The Gauchos weren’t done yet as they cut the UCLA lead to five again with 4:43 left. Jack White’s third goal capped the scoring for UCLA and completed White’s hat trick. UCSB added two goals in the final two minutes, but it was too little, too late for the Gauchos and UCLA won 15-11.
While UCSB has played well so far this year, the Pacific Tigers have played even better. The Tigers have beaten both Southern Cal and UCSB. In fact, Pacific has beaten Southern Cal twice to earn the number three ranking in the nation.
The Tigers’ only two losses so far this year have come against #1 Stanford.
So, if last week’s game was a battle, tonight’s game will be a war.
That said, UCLA has been playing the top talent and their only loss was to Stanford. The Bruins get the edge tonight as the home team. 14-11, Bruins.
This is your UCLA versus Pacific men’s water polo open thread.