Oct. 15, 2010
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -
Despite grabbing its first lead of the game with under three minutes left to play, fourth-ranked Stanford men's water polo could not hold on, dropping a 9-8 decision to No. 3 UCLA in Los Angeles Friday night.
Jacob Smith's second goal of the game, this one with 2:56 remaining, gave the Cardinal its first lead of the game at 8-7, but UCLA was able to come back with a pair of goals over a 58-second span and hold on for the win.
Smith, Jeffrey Schwimer and Sage Wright each scored twice for Stanford, with Paul Rudolph and Peter Sefton adding goals. On defense, goalie Brian Pingree made seven saves in the Cardinal cage.
Friday night's contest was a back-and-forth battle between the two evenly-matched teams, as the score was tied six different times and only on two occasions did a team hold a lead of more than one goal.
The contest was only 29 seconds old when UCLA opened up the scoring as Jacob Murphy found the back of the cage. Stanford wasted little time in answering when Smith equalized just 49 seconds later.
The teams would trade goals once more in the opening frame, as UCLA's Josh Samuels scored with over four minutes to go but Rudolph pulled the Cardinal even 24 seconds before the end of the frame.
Samuels struck once again to start the second period, but again, his goal was answered by the Cardinal as Sefton notched an equalizer. At this point the Bruin defense made a stand, holding the Cardinal scoreless the rest of the half while its offense netted two more goals, sending UCLA into the locker room in possession of a 5-3 advantage.
Yet it only took the first 2:11 of the second half for the Cardinal to battle its way back into the game. Schwimer got on the board 28 seconds into the frame and Wright followed up just over a minute and a half later to make it 5-5. Yet all the goals did was wake up the dormant UCLA offense, which replied with a pair of salvos of its own, netting a goal before the end of the period then tacking on another 1:20 into the fourth period to go back up by two at 7-5.
The pendulum swung its way back to the Cardinal at that point, though, starting with Wright netting his second just 22 seconds later, halving the UCLA lead. Clutch stops by the Stanford defense allowed the Cardinal to tie things up once more thanks to Schwimer's second goal with 3:41 remaining, then take its first lead on Smith's second just 45 seconds later.
But the comeback was not meant to be for the Cardinal, as UCLA fought back with a Griffin White goal with 1:40 to play, then on its next possession got the eventual game-winner as Ben Hohl completed his hat trick with 50 ticks left on the clock. Stanford could not find an answer in the final minute and suffered its first conference loss.
Stanford - 2 1 2 3 = 8
UCLA - 2 3 1 3 = 9
Stanford Goal Scorers: Schwimer 2, Smith 2, Wright 2, Rudolph, Sefton
UCLA Goal Scorers: Hohl 3, Murphy 2, Samuels 2, Vieira, White
Goalie Saves: Pingree 7 (S); Hartshorne 7 (UCLA)