MALIBU, Cal., Sept. 28. AS a player on the U.S. National team from 1983 through 1992, Pepperdine water polo coach Terry Schroeder never took home that elusive Olympic gold medal he so desired.
But the veteran Wave head man, now in his 17th season at the Pepperdine helm, won the "Big One" here today as his No.7-ranked squad defeated top-ranked and defending NCAA champ Stanford, 10-7, knocking the Cardinal from the ranks of the unbeaten.
Stanford is now 7-1 overall, 1-1 in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation play. Pepperdine is 4-3 overall, 1-1 in the MPSF.
Pepperdine, which under Schroeder won the NCAA title five seasons ago, was led by sophomore utilityman Jesse Smith, who scored a game-high five goals this afternoon to lead the Wave attack. The match was played at Raleigh Runnels Memorial Pool.
A 6-4, 220-pound sophomore from Coronado, Smith also scored a pair of goals in Pepperdine's 9-7 loss to U Cal Irvine Thursday at UCI in the Waves' MPSF opener.
Junior driver Jeremy Grubbs and sophomore driver Jordan Keitel each netted a pair of goals to further aid the Pepperdine cause.
Stanford was led by last season's NCAA Player of the Year, sophomore driver Tony Azevedo, who tallied four goals to pace the Cardinal. Senior Jeff Guyman added a pair.
Pepperdine put the clamps on Stanford with a stifling defense, and eventually built an 8-2 lead.
"We put together a tremendous team effort on defense, and that was a key factor in the game," said Schroeder. "Jumping out to an early lead helped
our confidence. It was a tremendous way for us to start conference play, because Stanford figures to be in the hunt at the end of the season."
Smith recorded three goals in the first quarter to help Pepperdine race to a quick 4-1 lead. Senior holeman Karl Niehaus and Smith both tallied second-quarter goals as the Waves were up by a stunning 6-2 margin by intermission.
Pepperdine built its advantage to 8-2 as Grubbs and Smith scored goals to open the third quarter.
Stanford registered three-consecutive goals to pull within an 8-5 count, but Keitel pushed the Waves' advantage to four goals when he scored at the 5:56
mark, and Grubbs scored 55 seconds later to cap the Pepperdine scoring.
Senior goalie Michael Soltis registered nine saves for Pepperdine.
Pepperdine returns to action next weekend when the Waves compete at the two-day, 16-team NorCal Tournament hosted by California. Pepperdine will
face U Cal Irvine and UC San Diego in pool play games next Saturday (Oct. 5) at Diablo Valley Community College in Pleasant Hill.
The Cardinal are back in action tomorrow (Sunday, Sept. 29) at Loyola Marymount for a noon game, then travel to Stockton on Wed., Oct. 2 for a 4 p.m. match against Pacific.
Stanford 1 1 2 3 — 7
Pepperdine 4 2 2 2 — 10
Tony Azevedo (4), Jeff Guyman (2), Thomas Hopkins (1)
Jesse Smith (5), Jeremy Grubbs (2), Jordan Keitel (2), Karl Niehaus (1)
Nick Ellis; 3 saves and 10 goals allowed
Michael Soltis; 9 saves and 7 goals allowed
Nick Ellis (Stan) 3;
Mike Soltis (Pepp) 9.
* * * * *
LOS ANGELES, Sept. 28 — UCLA was 7-1 against traditional crosstown rival USC in its last eight games against the Trojans, dating back to the start of
the 2000 season.
And the Bruins defeated the Men of Troy, 9-7 in overtime, to take third-place in the SoCal tournament at SC two weeks ago.
However, as is often the case when these two rivals clash on the "field of battle," the record-book gets thrown out the window. This was the case again this afternoon at the Trojans' McDonald's Olympic Pool.
The No. 5-ranked Trojans (9-2, 1-0) defeated the No. 3-ranked Bruins, 10-8, in a thrilling double-overtime match.
USC's Jeff Larson scored the go-ahead goal with 1:05 remaining in the second overtime period as the Trojans upset the Bruins. Troy's Jaraj Zatovic added the insurance goal with nine seconds remaining on a penalty shot.
The standing-room-only crowd of approximately 500 witnessed another emotional and heated contest between the two polo powerhouses, which have accounted for every NCAA Championship (two for the Bruins, one for SC) since 1999 save for last season, when Stanford won.
USC (9-2, 2-0) held a 4-1 lead late in the first half before Ted Peck scored the first of his four goals on the afternoon for UCLA (3-3, 0-1).
The Bruins scored four goals to take a 6-5 lead after the third period. Both teams traded goals in the fourth period with Zatovic tying the match at 7-7 with 1:15 remaining. In the first overtime, UCLA took the lead on a goal by Peck. Zatovic scored his third goal of the match with 31 seconds left to tie the match at 8.
Larson's goal in the second overtime period came on a power play after an ejection called against UCLA's Michael March at the two-meter position. Larson converted from the left side for the Trojans.
With the win, USC evens the Lexus Gauntlet standings with UCLA as both teams have a win against each other this season.
— Bill Bell
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 1st OT 2nd OT Final
UCLA (3-3, 0-1) 1 1 4 1 1 0 8
USC (9-2, 2-0) 2 2 1 2 1 2 10
UCLA – Ted Peck 4, Brett Ormsby 2, Albert Garcia, Matt Flesher
USC – Jaraj Zatovic 4, Predrag Damjanov 2, Jordan Hewko, Cameron Kaiser, Jeff Larson, Gadi Hadar