Once again, the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation boasts the top-nine ranked teams in NCAA men’s water polo. Defending NCAA Champion and No. 1 ranked USC begins the season where it left off, with a 9-8 thriller over Long Beach State. The Trojans, who recently experienced the retirement of longtime coach and USC legend John Williams, beat “The Beach” on a late tie-breaking goal by Peter Janov. Fellow Trojan, Allen Basso, scored five points on three goals to earn MPSF Player of the Week.
No. 7 LONG BEACH STATE notched a 16-9 victory over Loyola Marymount in the inaugural game for new coach Rick Azevedo. Against LMU, Chris Segesman provided a career-high six goals, while teammate Patrick Cochran found the back of the net five times for The Beach.
No. 2 STANFORD starts off with two big wins, including a 9-1 demolition of NO. 9 PACIFIC at home and a 17-6 thrashing of No. 19 UC Davis.
Pacific took a 16-2 win at UC Santa Cruz yesterday, as Gavriil Chernovsov and Sergey Bushvev each scored four times to lead the Tigers.
UC Davis also provided cannon fodder for No. 6 CALIFORNIA, as the Golden Bears destroyed the Aggies, 15-1. Cal was bolstered by three goals each from Jerry Smith and Adam Metzger, as nine players scored in the Bears’ opening game under Peter Asch. Former Cal Head Coach Steve Heaston passed away after a lengthy battle with brain cancer during the offseason.
In the season opener for both teams, No. 8 UC SANTA BARBARA knocked off No. 4 PEPPERDINE in a 12-10 slugfest. The Gauchos’ Amit Seker drilled a two-point goal with :38 remaining to seal the victory, while pounding in six points on four goals to lead the scoring for both teams. Greg Lonzo, Peter Joseph and Sean Hylton each tallied three points for the Waves.
In Westwood, No. 3 UCLA spanked No. 5 UC IRVINE 13-3, as Bruin junior Adam Wright paced seven UCLA players in scoring with three goals, while John Dorfi led UCI with two scores.
All nine MPSF teams will compete in this weekend’s SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA TOURNAMENT which will take place at USC on September 18 and 19.