UCLA Defends Mountain Pacific Invite Title

Max Irving, UCLA (Photo by UCLA Athletics)
Sept. 25, 2017

MPSF Men's Water Polo Release 4

UCLA 13, USC 11


Recap by UCLA

LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- The fourth-ranked UCLA Bruins rallied from a 4-2 deficit at the end of the first period to win the Mountain Pacific Invitational title, 13-11,at No. 2 USC on Sunday afternoon at USC's Uytengsu AquaticsCenter. The Bruins improved to 12-0 while the Trojans dropped to13-1 on the year. UCLA also improved to 84-79-1 all-time against USC. With the win, the Bruins have now won the first major tournament of the year for five consecutive years, winning the Mountain Pacific Invitational in 2016 and 2017 and the NorCal Invitational in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

The matchup between USC and UCLA was the first of the 2017-18 academic year. The Bruins' win earns UCLA five points in the all-sport crosstown cup rivalry challenge between the two schools and ties the score,5-5. UCLA won the head-to-head battle in 2016-17 for the second time in three years by a score of 105-85.

Senior Max Irving led the Bruins with a career-high six goals against the Trojans. Senior Alex Roelse also added four scores while freshman Nicolas Saveljicchipped in two more. Redshirt sophomore Alex Wolf played the entire game in goal, registering 10 saves, two steals and one assist while surrendering 11 goals.

Blake Edwards got the Trojans on the board first with a power play goal (6:15). ButSaveljicanswered with a power play of his own to tie the game at 1-1 (5:32).Roelse put the Bruins in front 2-1 (4:39) with a power play goal. But Grant Stein provided the equalizer just eight seconds later (4:31). Zach D'Sa put the Trojans in front 3-2 with a goal at full strength (2:37) and Bryce Hoermanconnected on a power play strike, the Trojans' fourth of the first period, to give USC a 4-2 lead (1:13) at the end of the first.

Irving cut the deficit in half with a goal at even strength to open the scoring in the second period (6:23) with the Bruins trailing 4-3. Roelse then netted his second of the game to tie it up at 4-4 with 4:21 left in the first half. D'Sa answered for USC with his second of the contest to put the Trojans back in front, 5-4 (4:07). Then freshman Chasen Travisano scored a power play goal for the Bruins (2:40) to tie it again at 5-5. Mihajlo Milicevic returned the favor with a power play goal for the Trojans (2:19), but Roelsecompleted his hat trick with a 6-on-5 score to end the scoring in the first half with both teams scoring six goals apiece.

Irving scored his second of the game on a power play to open the scoring in the third period (4:34) to give UCLA a 7-6 edge. But Marin Dasic scored on a 6-on-4 opportunity for USC (3:58) to tie it back up at 7-7. Irving then completed his hat trick with a power play strike (1:37) that put the Bruins in front, 8-7. But Lachlan Edwards tied the game at 8-8 with a goal a even strength (0:39). Then Irving scored his fourth of the game on another power play (0:13) to end the scoring in the third with the Bruins leading 9-8.

Wolf made a huge stop on a Matteo Morellipenalty shot (7:26) to keep the Bruins in the lead at the start of the fourth period.Roelsewould openthe scoring in the fourth quarter with his fourth of the game to put UCLA up 10-8 on a power play (6:52). Marko Vavic scored a power play goal for USC (6:25) to cut it to 10-9. But Irving scored his fifth of the game (5:00) to push the lead to 11-9. Saveljic'ssecond of the game came from the front court (4:13) and put the Bruins up 12-9. But USC's Stein mounted a comeback, scoring back-to-back goals (3:07 and 1:47) to complete his hat trick, cutting the lead to 12-11. USC had plenty of chances down the stretch, but each time, UCLA's defense was up to the challenge. Especially the play of Wolf, who registered five of his 10 saves in the final period, including three on Trojan power plays and another on a penalty shot to preserve the win. Irving would add an insurance goal as time expired, his sixth of the game, to provide the 13-11 final.

The Bruins return to action on Saturday, Sept. 30 in a non-conference game at No. 10 UC Irvine at 1:00 p.m. at the Anteater Aquatics Complex.

California 13, Stanford 9


Recap by Cal

LOS ANGELES - One day after a pair of intense, hard-fought matches provided a definite challenge for the Cal men's water polo team, the No. 1-ranked Bears bounced back in fine fashion to take a second-half lead and beat No. 3 Stanford 11-9 in the third-place match of the Mountain Pacific Invitational hosted by USC and Loyola Marymount.

After dropping an overtime thriller to UCLA in Saturday's semifinal round, Cal (11-1) returned to the pool for what figured to be another close contest against a MPSF foe. This time, the Bears didn't wait around to establish a lead as goals by Nikos Delagrammatikas, Odysseas Masmanidis and Johnny Hooper gave Cal a 3-0 advantage right away.

Stanford whittled that lead to one by the end of the period and a goal by Reid Chase with two seconds left in the half gave the Cardinal a 5-4 lead at the midway point.

Cal took the lead back with an emphatic move forward in the third period. Hooper evened the count at 5 and, after Stanford added a goal to go back in front, Luca Cupido brought the score back to neutral again with a goal of his own. About a minute and a half later, Ethan Wojciechowski put the Bears up 7-6 and Hooper notched a hat trick with 2:06 left in the period to make it 8-6.

Stanford drew to within one by the end of the third period but Cupido re-established momentum in Cal's corner by scoring the first two goals of the fourth to put the Bears ahead 10-7 with 4:34 left to play. Hooper finished the Cal scoring by converting his fourth goal with 12 seconds left and the Bears finished the weekend with three wins in four chances against a field that included 14 ranked teams.

After making 17 saves against UCLA on Saturday, Kevin Le Vine returned to the cage for Cal on Sunday and made 10 more stops to earn the win. The Bears' senior goalkeeper also had three steals to lead a Cal defense that finished the match with 10 steals as a group.

With a team-high four goals on Sunday, Hooper finished the weekend with 12 in four matches. Cupido added a hat trick against the Cardinal to end the tournament with nine goals of his own. Nicholas Carniglia, Wojciechowski, Delagrammatikas and Masmanidis scored a goal apiece in the win.

Cal returns to Southern California on Saturday to take on UC Santa Barbara in the Bears' only match of the week. Game time is set for noon. Action returns to Spieker Aquatics Complex on Oct. 4 when Santa Clara visits for a 4:30 p.m. match that will be broadcast live by Pac-12 Networks.

McKendree 17, Penn State Behrend 15

Recap by PSB

WASHINGTON, Pa. -- The Penn State Behrend men's water polo dropped its second game of the season after losing a heart-breaker to McKendree 17-15 Sunday afternoon. The Lions (2-2) made a late fourth quarter push to try to cut the lead against the Bearcats (2-6), but it was not enough before time expired. The first quarter was not the quarter for the Lions. McKendree outscored Behrend 6-2 in the quarter, scoring the first four goals of the game. Troy Valkusky (Drifton, PA/Hazleton) fixed their first quarter woes when he tallied his first of three goals in the game, cutting the lead to two midway through the second quarter. The Bearcats continued to bring heat, scoring five goals in the third to strengthen the lead. Bruce Bursiek (Houston, TX/Cy-Fair High School) notched his second of three goals near the end of the third to bring the score to 15-10 entering the fourth. Kyle Frerichs (Sellersville, PA/Pennridge) continued to fight as he scored two goals in the final quarter to try to give the Lions hope but unfortunately, it was too late. Matt Olimski (San Diego, CA/Otay Ranch) tallied seven saves in the game. Grant Garcia (Kingsburg, VA/Kingsburg) and Justin Spence (Houston, TX/Cy-Fair High School) notched three assists each in the game. Garcia also recorded four drawn kickouts and a drawn penalty shot.