2019 MPSF Invitational Day One: Top Seeds Stanford, UCLA, UCSB and USC All Advance

UCSB vs Stanford
All eyes will be on #1 UCSB and goalie Danny Roland today at the MPSF Invite—especially if the Gauchos face host UCLA. Photo Courtesy: Catharyn Hayne

The opening day of competition at the 2019 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) Invitational saw no upsets as all the higher seeded teams advanced to second round action Saturday at UCLA’s Spieker Aquatics Center. Opening play were the host Bruins, who got two goals apiece from Jake Cavano, Felix Brozyna-Vilim and Ashworth Molthen to beat Pomona-Pitzer 12-2.

mpsf-shield-finalIn the Nicholas Burns pool on the Loyola Marymount campus, Stanford’s Ben Hallock scored six times as the Cardinal dominated Air Force by an 18-1 score. Also in the Burn pool; defending MPSF Invite champs Southern Cal registered a 14-6 win over Princeton, as Hannes Daube and Jacob Mercep each scored twice while goalie Nic Porter registered nine saves in a second half that saw the Trojans limit the Tigers to a lone fourth-quarter score.

UC Santa Barbara, which this week took over the top spot in the Collegiate Water Polo Association rankings for the first time in program history, opened play with an 11-5 win over San Jose State in the Spieker pool. Cole Bronsan, Jacob Halle and Nathan Puentes each scored twice, while Tiago Bonchristiano and Danny Roland shared goaltending duties.

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UCLA’s Spieker Aquatics Center. Photo Courtesy: UCLA Athletics

In early morning action on the UCLA campus, the host Bruins will take on Cal, a 10-5 winner over UC Irvine. That match starts at 8 a.m. PST and will be followed at 9:20 a.m. by UCSB versus Pepperdine, a 12-8 winner over UC San Diego. Stanford will face Long Beach State, an 11-10 winner of UC San Diego, at 10:40 a.m., followed by USC against Pacific at noon. The Tigers advanced on the strength of a high-scoring contest against host Loyola Marymount with Luke Pavillard (6 goals) and Djordje Stanic (4 scores) leading the way.

The winners of these four quarterfinal contests will get back in the Spieker pool at 2:40 p.m. and 5:20 p.m.; if the higher seeds hold, possible match-ups would be UCLA versus UCSB and Stanford against USC.

There are numerous compelling match-ups in the losers’ bracket. In matches to be played in the Burns pool, Pomona-Pitzer—which last year beat UC Irvine—will face the Anteaters at 8 a.m., while San Jose State will face UC San Diego at 9:20 a.m.

Princeton, the only East Coast team competing at this tournament, will look to get a win over Loyola Marymount in what should be a very entertaining match.

For live stats of all matches, please go to the Socal Invitational Tournament Central page on the UCLA website.

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