Last night, the #2 Bruins defeated the #3 Pacific Tigers by the score of 14-10. Today, UCLA will play a doubleheader against the #20 Cal Baptist Lancers and the Whittier Poets. The first game begins at 3 pm PT.
Last TIme Out
Last night’s game was over by the midway point in the third quarter, due in large part to a second quarter barrage by the Bruins.
Tommy Gruwell scored the first of his two goals in the game with 4:11 left in the first quarter to put UCLA on the board first, but Pacific tied the game at one with 2:48 to go. Jake Cavano broke the tie with the first of his four goals just 33 seconds later, but the Tigers tied it up again with 55 seconds left in the quarter.
That didn’t stop UCLA from re-taking the lead on an Ashworth Molthen goal with seven seconds left in the first and the Bruins led 3-2 after a quarter of play.
Cavano scored the first two goals of the second quarter 31 seconds into the quarter and then 52 seconds later to put UCLA ahead, 5-2. That gave him a first half hat trick but he wasn’t done yet. After Pacific scored with 5:52 left in the half, Cavano added his fourth of the game to make it 6-3, Bruins.
The Tigers cut UCLA’s lead to just two with 4:05 left in the half but, 27 seconds later, Matthew Kacura got on the board for the Bruins to put UCLA ahead 7-4. A power play goal by the Tigers cut the UCA lead to two again with 2:13 left while Felix Brozyna-Vilim scored on a Bruin power play 41 seconds later and he added another power play goal with 29 seconds left. The Tigers’ final goal of the half came with just seconds left when they made a penalty shot and UCLA led 9-6 at the half.
UOP quickly closed it back to two again to start the third quarter, but Gruwell’s second goal which came with 6:40 to go in the third gave the Bruins a 10-7 lead. Kacura’s second goal which proved to be the game-winner came with 4:15 left in the quarter and put UCLA up 11-7.
Brozyna-Vilim started the fourth quarter scoring with his third goal of the game to put the Bruins up 12-7, but Pacific wasn’t going away quietly and they cut UCLA’s lead back down to four. Brozyna-Vilim decided to join Cavano in the four-goal club when he scored with 4:55 to go. Nicolas Saveljic finished the scoring for the Bruins when he made it 14-8 with just under four minutes to play. A pair of goals by the Tigers pulled them within four with 2:57 to go, but they got no closer and UCLA won, 14-10.
Cal Baptist Lancers
The Lancers come in to today’s game with a record of 9-10. Despite that, they are ranked 20th in the nation, which is attributable more to the fact that so few schools offer men’s water polo than the fact that the Lancers deserve to be ranked. They’ve won just two games against ranked opponents — a September 21st game against #18 San Jose State and an October 4th game against UCLA’s other opponent today the #20 Whittier Poets.
The Poets, on the other hand, have not beaten a ranked team all season long. Today won’t be any different.
Today’s outlook is ridiculously bright for UCLA. In fact, if there were a mercy rule in water polo, today would be the day to use it and I would expect that UCLA would end both games in the first quarter. If today’s games aren’t used for depth development, look for the Bruins to win each game by at least 15 points.
This is your UCLA men’s water polo doubleheader open thread.