LOS ANGELES, Nov. 13. UCLA's top-ranked men's water polo team (20-2) all but clinched its second consecutive Mountain Pacific Sports Federation title here this evening with a hard-fought, 6-4 victory over arch cross-town rival USC.
The Bruins extended their win streak to 15 matches — longest in more than 15 years — with the win over the Trojans. They'll conclude their season Sunday afternoon with a game against U Cal Irvine that begins at 1 pm at the Bruins' Sunset Canyon Recreation Cenfer Pool.
For the second consecutive year, the Bruins clinched at least a share of the MPSF title and guaranteed themselves a top-seed into the conference tournament Nov. 27-28 at Stanford's Avery Aquatic Center, also the site of the NCAA Final Four the following weekend (Dec. 4-5).
Matt Jacobs' goal with 2:19 left in the third-period snapped a 3-3 tie as the Bruins extended their winning streak to 15 matches. With the win, UCLA takes a 2-0 season series lead for the five points available towards the Lexus Gauntlet, the year-long competition between USC and UCLA.
Olympian Brett Ormsby led the Bruins with a team-high four goals.
The Trojans held a 3-2 lead at halftime before Ormsby tied the game with 4:43 left in the third. UCLA scored four unanswered goals, shutting down the USC offense. The lone Trojan goal came with 2:09 left in the fourth, scored by Cameron Kaiser.
Senior James Shin led the Trojans with two goals in the final regular season home match for four USC seniors (Kaiser, Shin, Nick Andrejich and Garrett Gentry).
A win against UC Irvine will give the Bruins their first outright MPSF title and first perfect conference record since 1999. And for the history buffs out there, the last time the Bruins had a double-digit win streak (1996) they proceeded to "run the table," i.e., win the MPSF title and then take the NCAA Championship too.
UCLA (20-2, 7-0) 0 2 2 2 – 6
USC (18-4, 4-3) 0 3 0 1 – 4
Brett Ormsby 4, Matt Jacobs, Grant Zider
James Shin 2, Juan Delgadillo, Cameron Kaiser
Joseph Axelrad (UCLA) 8, Don Ricci (USC) 7