Top-ranked UCLA holds off No. 9 Pepperdine in 8-7 victory
LOS ANGELES -- No. 1 UCLA improved to 12-0 on the season with an 8-7 win against No. 9 Pepperdine (3-5) this afternoon at Spieker Aquatics Center. Junior attacker Daniel Lenhart led the Bruins with two goals.
The Bruins dominated the first period, jumping out to a 4-0 lead. Lenhart scored a power play goal at the 5:59 mark to draw first blood. Freshman Ryder Roberts made it 2-0 with a goal from the frontcourt (2:43). Freshman Lovre Milos put UCLA up 3-0 with another goal from the perimeter (1:55). Freshman Jack Fellner then scored on a power play with 1:27 left to end the scoring in the first period.
Wesley Sherburne got the Waves on the scoreboard with an exclusion goal with 5:20 to go in the second period. But redshirt junior Cristiano Mirarchi put the Bruins up 5-1 with a counter attack strike (4:26). Luke Hewko scored his first of the game to end the second quarter scoring at the 2:54 mark, leaving UCLA up 5-2 at halftime.
The third quarter was a draw as both teams scored two goals. UCLA went up 6-2 with Lenhart's second goal of the game (6:51). But Hewko got things going and scored back-to-back goals for Pepperdine (6:29 and 2:11) to trim the lead to 6-4. Senior Aimone Barabino put the Bruins up 7-4 with a power play goal with 1:47 to go to end the scoring in the third.
Freshman Gordon Marshall immediately widened the gap to 8-4 with a goal from set at the 7:41 mark of the fourth quarter. That goal would be the eventual game-winning score. Hewko scored his fourth of the game to make it 8-5 with a power play strike (6:36). Then he scored his fifth goal of the game with 3:21 to go to cut the lead to 8-6. After Sherburne trimmed it to just one at 8-7 on a 6-on-5 opportunity (:46), the Bruins failed to score, but got a steal on Pepperdine's final possession and then ran out the clock for the final :18.
The Bruins were 3-for-8 on power plays while Pepperdine was 3-for-10. Neither team attempted a penalty shot.
Redshirt freshman Garrett Danner played the entire game in the cage for UCLA and was credited with 11 saves, including a personal-best six in the second quarter. Bence Valics registered eight saves in goal for the Waves.