LA JOLLA, Calif. -- Top-seeded UCLA (28-3, 8-0 MPSF) took control right from the start, posting a decisive 15-6 victory at No. 4 UC San Diego (16-10) on Saturday afternoon to advance to Sunday's NCAA Championship title match at UCSD's Cayonview Aquatic Center.
The Bruins will play USC in Sunday's championship match.
Senior Cristiano Mirarchi led all scorers with three goals.UCLA got on the board first when senior Paul Reynolds scored from off a rebound (7:40). Joe Dietrich tied it at 1-1 with a goal from the front court (7:18). Mirarchi scored his first on a power play to end the scoring in the opening period at the 4:40 mark as the Bruins led 2-1 at the end of one.
The Bruins used a dominant 6-2 second period to build an 8-3 lead by halftime. Junior Anthony Daboub opened the second with an exclusion goal (7:20) to put the Bruins up 3-1 off a nice feed from senior Chris Fahlsing. But UCSD's Josh Stiling converted a 6-on-5 opportunity (4:30) to make it 3-2. Mirarchi scored his second power-play goal to push the lead to 4-2 (3:41). Sophomore Chancellor Ramirez scored a goal from the front court to extend the lead to 5-2 (2:57).
After a power-play goal by the Tritons' Tiki Toplak (1:55) trimmed the lead to 5-3, sophomore Gordon Marshall made it 6-2 with a goal from two meters and a nice pass from Reynolds (1:44). But the Bruins weren't done as sophomore Ryder Roberts scored back-to-back goals in 0:31 to give UCLA the 8-3 edge at the break. His first goal was a penalty shot (0:34) and his second was at full strength (0:03).
UCLA won the third period 4-1 and the fourth 3-2 to secure the win.
Garrett Danner started in goal for the Bruins and played the majority of the game, registering 14 saves while surrendering five goals. Senior Stephen White played the final 3:11 of the fourth, picking up one save while allowing one goal. Cameron Ravanbach played all four quarters in the cage for the Tritons and was credited with eight stops while giving up 15 goals.
UCSD was a paltry 2-for-11 on power plays while UCLA was a solid 6-for-8. The Bruins converted the only penalty shot of the game.