Water Polo Drops Heartbreaker At No. 1 UCLA
Los Angeles, Calif. - The No. 8 Pacific men's water team had its chances on the road against No. 1 UCLA but was unable to close things out as the Bruins claimed a 13-12 sudden-victory win Friday, November 4, in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation match at the Spieker Aquatics Center.
The Tigers now sit at 10-9 on the year and 0-4 in the MPSF while UCLA improves to 16-3 and 3-1 in league play with the win.
UCLA jumped out to a quick two-goal lead before senior Tom Koning netted halfway through the first to get Pacific on the board. Classmate Daniel Lungu scored with just 11 seconds left in the quarter to knot the match at 2-2.
The Tigers continued to play well as senior Lance Morrison finished at the 4:27 mark of the second frame. The hosts ended their scoring drought 19 seconds later as they scored a power-play goal to tie the match at 3-3. The goal would be the first of three in a row for the Bruins as UCLA went ahead 5-3 with one minute left in the half. Lungu again came through for Pacific, this time with 24 seconds remaining as he brought the Tigers back to within one at the half.
The third frame would find the two squads trading goals as UCLA scored at the 3:02 mark before Koning notched his second goal of the match with 1:34 left in the quarter to again make it a one-goal match.
Contrary to the third quarter, the fourth quarter was an offensive explosion that saw Pacific rally back to take the lead. The hosts started the scoring at the 7:08 mark before the Tigers scored consecutive goals as junior Goran Tomasevic and Lungu both found the back of the cage to knot things at 7-7. The Bruins would stop Pacific's run with a goal at the 5:25 mark but it would prove short-lived as the Tigers scored two more goals to go up 9-8 with three minutes left. Sophomore Balazs Erdelyi and freshman Alex Obert accounted for the two scores.
UCLA managed to draw an ejection at the 2:54 mark before scoring on the power play thirty seconds later to tie the match at 9-9. Koning secured the hat trick with a goal at the 2:00 mark to put the Tigers up 10-9. Neither team managed to generate much offense the rest of the way before Koning was whistled for a penalty with 31 seconds left, allowing the Bruins to take a free shot from two meters. The hosts managed to convert the shot, knotting the match at 10-10. Pacific had one last chance to end things in regulation but came up empty, putting the match into overtime.
The Bruins netted first to gain a one-goal advantage but Koning registered his fourth goal of the match with 26 seconds left in the first overtime frame to tie things at 11-11. The second overtime period saw the hosts again gain an advantage, this time on a penalty shot with 1:06 left to play. Just as things appeared over, Pacific managed to draw an exclusion with six seconds left that allowed Tomasevic to score the game-tying goal and force a sudden-victory period.
The opening sprint was won by UCLA but the Bruins struggled to find any openings within the Tigers' defense. It was not until the shot clock was set to expire that the hosts managed to find an opening as sophomore Cristiano Mirarchi put it away to the top-left corner of the cage, ending the match in the process.
The match was Pacific's sixth overtime match of the year and seventh one-goal match.
Koning led the Tigers with four goals while Lungu contributed three scores.
Sophomore Alex Malkis manned the cage for Pacific, notching seven blocks in a complete-game outing.
UCLA's junior Josh Samuels led all scorers with five goals. Junior Matt Rapacz tallied nine saves, including four in overtime.
|1st Q||2nd Q||3rd Q||4th Q||1st OT||2nd OT||SD OT||FINAL|
Pacific - Koning 4, Lungu 3, Tomasevic 2, Erdelyi, Morrison, Obert
UCLA - Samuels 5, Hennessy 3, Barabino 2, White 2, Mirarchi
Pacific - Malkis 7
UCLA - Rapacz 9