Oct. 24, 2010

LOS ANGELES -

Courtesy of UCLA Athletics

Senior Ben Hohl and sophomore Griffin White each scored three goals to lead the No. 3 UCLA men's water polo team past No. 5 UC Irvine, 11-8, in an MPSF match at Spieker Aquatics Center on Saturday night.

UCLA (12-3, 3-1 MPSF) led the entire contest, securing a 5-3 lead by the end of the first quarter.

Junior Cullen Hennessy tallied two goals for the host Bruins, while senior Jacob Murphy and freshmen Cristiano Mirarchi and Chris Wendt each added one goal.

UC Irvine (13-4, 2-1 MPSF) was led by senior Griffin Lerman's three goals. The visiting Anteaters also received one pair of goals from senior Douglas Lindsey. Senior Brandon Johnson, junior Trent Baxter and freshman Mitch Wise each netted one goal.

The Bruins thrived on the power play Saturday evening, converting on four of six 6-on-5 opportunities. UCLA surrendered power-play goals on four of UC Irvine's 11 chances. Each team converted one penalty shot - Hohl for UCLA and Johnson for UC Irvine.

The Bruins and Anteaters traded 6-on-5 goals on their opening possessions in the game's first minute. Hohl snapped the 1-1 deadlock with 6:37 to play in the first quarter with a 6-on-5 goal before Johnson netted a five-meter penalty goal at the 6:22 mark. UCLA claimed a 4-2 lead with goals from Murphy (3:49) on the power play and on a sensational lob shot from Hohl (1:15).

UC Irvine reduced the Bruins' margin to one goal, at 4-3, on a goal from Trent Baxter with 13 seconds left. UCLA answered with four seconds to play in the first period on a shot from Hennessy.

UCLA outscored UC Irvine, 2-1, in the second period to secure a 7-4 halftime advantage. The Bruins led by as many as four goals in the first half, at 7-3, after White scored with 7:37 to play and Hohl scored on a penalty shot at the 3:43 mark. The Anteaters narrowed UCLA's advantage to 7-4 with a 6-on-5 goal from Wise.

The Bruins led by at least four goals throughout the third quarter, outscoring UC Irvine by a 4-3 tally. Goals from Mirarchi (5:59) and White (5:05) pushed UCLA ahead, 9-4. Lindsey (4:31) and Lerman (3:16) each found the back of the cage on 6-on-5 opportunities for UC Irvine, slicing UCLA's lead to 9-6.

Following goals from White (3:01) and Wendt (1:57) the Bruins assumed their five-goal cushion. With six seconds left in the third quarter, UC Irvine received one goal from Lerman, his team-leading third score of the game.

The Anteaters scored the only goal in the fourth quarter, coming on a shot from Lindsey with 49 seconds to play.

Freshman goalkeeper James Hartshorne netted six saves in the cage for UCLA. UC Irvine's Matt Johnson finished with five stops, including four in the second half.

UCLA returns to action with a doubleheader at home against UC San Diego and Pomona-Pitzer on Saturday, Oct. 30. The Bruins will face UC San Diego at 1 p.m. and Pomona-Pitzer at 3:30 p.m. at Spieker Aquatics Center.