SANTA BARBARA, CA., November 9. UCLA's second-ranked men's water polo team withstood a furious fourth-quarter by U Cal Santa Barbara, that saw the Gauchos push four goals past Bruin All-America goalie Brandon Brooks, and defeated the No. 12-ranked Gauchos, 8-6, in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation match here this afternoon.
The game was at UCSB's Rec Cen Pool and the win improved UCLA's record to 11-7 on the season, 3-4 in conference play.
UCLA sophomore Brett Ormsby came out strong in the first quarter, finding the back of the net three times and earning a hat trick However, Ormsby never scored again in the match as the Santa Barbara defense found his number.
The Bruins were blanked in the second quarter as the teams battled for every shot. UCSB freshman Jarrod Muenter was the only player to cash in and his score brought the margin to 3-1, UCLA, at halftime.
Apparently, UCLA coach Adam Kirkorian's emotions after a second-quarter yellow card sparked the Bruin offense in the third period as it traded goals with the Gauchos and then rattled of three unanswered goals to finish the period. Freshman center defender Michael March accounted for two of the goals, pushing the lead to 7-2.
The fourth-quarter was as exciting as a water polo match can be. The Santa Barbara offense surged, desperately trying to overcome a five-point deficit. Sophomore Andrew Schoneberger scored two goals while senior Anthony Borasi and freshman Ian Christensen added goals as well.
In the end, howeer, UCLA was able to fend off the Gaucho attack and win the match, 8-6.
UCLA will be back in action next weekend when it faces off against University of the Pacific in Stockton. Then its back to LA and the all-important crosstown battle against USC in two weeks.
– Bill Bell
Brett Ormsby (3), Michael March (2), Ted Peck (2), Josh Hewko (1)
Andrew Schoneberger (2), Anthony Borasi (1), Jarrod Muenter (1), Steven Traverso (1), Ian Christensen (1)
Brandon Brooks: 2 saves and 6 goals allowed
Sherwin Kim: 8 saves and 8 goals allowed