Sept. 29, 2007
STANFORD, Calif. -
With a raucous home crowd behind them and an axe to grind against one of only two teams to defeat them this season, the fourth-ranked Stanford men's water polo team came from behind and outlasted the third-ranked UCLA Bruins, 7-6, Saturday afternoon at Avery Stadium.
Sage Wright and Sandy Hohener highlighted the Cardinal (5-2) on Saturday, with Wright leading all scorers with four goals on the day, and Hohener making 13 saves in the cage. Hohener's crowd-pleasing saves included a crucial stop of a five-meter shot from UCLA's Scott Davidson in the third period, which helped keep the Bruins (8-2) off the board in the pivotal period.
UCLA started the contest by jumping out to a 3-1 lead in the opening four minutes, as goals from Scott Swanson, Davidson, and Justin Johnson countered a goal from Wright. The Cardinal would recover with a goal from Peter Finlayson with 1:32 remaining to cut the deficit to 3-2 after on period of play.
The teams traded goals in the second, as Wright's second score knotted things up at 3-3 before Ben Hohl put UCLA back in front with 2:31 to go before halftime. Forrest Schwartz scored with 43 seconds left to tie things up once more, but Hohl's second goal with 21 seconds remaining gave UCLA the 5-4 lead heading into the break.
The third period was where it all turned around for the Cardinal, as Wright posted the hat trick with a goal only 46 seconds into the half. Hohener's stop of Davidson's five-meter shot kept UCLA scoreless, allowing the Cardinal to take its first lead of the game on Wright's fourth goal, an extra-man score with 3:17 left in the period. The Cardinal capped their scoring with Drac Wigo's five-meter score with three seconds left in the third to head into the final period with a 7-5 advantage.
In the fourth, the Cardinal defense continued to hold firm, until the Bruins finally broke through with 1:19 to play on Marco Santos' goal. But a clutch steal with 28 seconds left sealed the game for the Cardinal, who ran out the clock and collected the win.
Stanford returns to action next Saturday, taking on the No. 1 USC Trojans at 1:30 p.m. in Los Angeles.
UCLA - 3 2 0 1 = 6
Stanford - 2 2 3 0 = 7
Stanford Goal Scorers: Sage Wright 4, P. Finlayson, Schwartz, D. Wigo
UCLA Goal Scorers: Hohl 2, Davidson, Johnson, Santos, Swanson
Goalie Saves: Hohener 13 (S); Kellogg 10 (UCLA)