Nov. 6, 1999
WESTWOOD, Calif. - With the nation's top ranking on the line, the UCLA men's water polo team defeated Stanford 10-8 in front of a large crowd at the Sunset Canyon Recreation Center Saturday afternoon.
UCLA and Stanford entered the game each sharing the No. 1 national collegiate men's water polo ranking. The Bruins, having now won seven straight games, improve their overall record to 16-2 and remain 7-0 in MPSF action. The loss breaks a six-game winning streak for the Cardinal, which falls to 16-3 overall, while remaining 5-1 in the conference.
Juniors Adam Wright and Brian Brown each tallied hat tricks to lead the UCLA attack. Stanford sophomore Pasi Dutton led all scorers with four points, while senior Sean Joy added a two-point goal which tied the game at four with 55 seconds remaining in the half.
The Bruins scored three goals in the first quarter from Wright, senior Matt Armato and junior Sean Kern to take a 3-0 lead. True freshman goalkeeper Brandon Brooks held Stanford scoreless in the opening frame, making some key saves on threatening Cardinal shots.
Dutton scored his first goal of the day to put Stanford on the board at the start of the second quarter, only to have senior Neil Hueston answer back with a goal of his own, putting UCLA ahead 4-1. The Cardinal charged back to tie the game, on a goal by senior Michael Lipinski and the two-pointer from Joy less than a minute prior to the halftime buzzer.
Junior Blake Wellen scored the eventual game-winner at the 5:14 minute mark to break the 4-4 tie in the third quarter, giving the Bruins a lead they would never relinquish. UCLA held as much as a 10-6 lead in the fourth quarter, thanks in part to Brown's two goals in the final frame. Dutton cut the lead to 10-8 on a two-pointer with just over a minute remaining in the game.
The Bruins play host to cross-town rival and third-ranked USC Friday at 3 p.m. at the Sunset Canyon Recreation Center. The game will be the final game to be counted in the MPSF standings. Stanford travels to UC Santa Barbara tomorrow to face the Gauchos at noon.
Stanford 0 4 1 3= 8 UCLA 3 1 3 3= 10
Stanford: Pasi Dutton 4 (one two-pointer), Sean Joy 2 (one two-pointer), Michael Lipinski 2.
UCLA: Adam Wright 3, Brian Brown 3, Matt Armato, Sean Kern, Neil Hueston, Blake Wellen.
Saves: UCLA-Brandon Brooks 9, Stanford - Nick Ellis 10.