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waterpolo-men-nc flag | October 31, 2013

Trojans fall in final

No. 2 UCLA 9, No. 1 USC 8

BERKELEY, Calif. -- No. 2 UCLA improved to 11-0 on the season with a 9-8 win against No. 1 USC (11-1) on Sunday night to win the NorCal Invitational. The victory against the Trojans ended USC's 41-game winning streak, dating back to the 2011 season.

Freshman Lovre Milos led UCLA with a hat trick and the Bruin newcomers scored 5-of-9 goals to remain undefeated and help UCLA win its first NorCal Invitational championship since 2004.

The first period was high-scoring with USC drawing first blood on a power-play goal by Mace Rapsey (6:32). The Bruins quickly tied it on the next possession when sophomore Danny McClintick fired a shot from the front court at the 6:09 mark of the first. Rapsey put USC up 2-1 with a drive and finish with 2:50 left in the opening period. Sophomore Anthony Daboub answered right back from the front court to tie it 2-2 (2:23). The Trojans regained the lead at 3-2 with a power-play goal by Kostas Genidounias with 1:33 left in the first quarter. Freshman Jack Fellner knotted it up at 3-3 on a 6-on-5 opportunity (:49). Milos gave the Bruins a 4-3 lead at the end of the period, scoring on a counter attack with six seconds to go.

Zach Lucas opened the scoring in the second period with a goal from the front court to tie it at 4-4 (7:00). Junior Paul Reynolds gave the Bruins the lead back eight seconds later with a shot from outside five meters. Lucas then tied it at 5-5 with another exclusion goal for USC with 5:11 left in the second quarter. Nikola Vavic ended the first half scoring with a drive and score with :39 left to give USC a 6-5 lead at the break.

The third quarter was a defensive struggle as each team netted only one goal. UCLA tied it at 6-6 when Milos struck from the front court for his second goal of the game (6:25). Rapsey completed a hat trick with an exclusion goal to give the Trojans a 7-6 lead (:33) heading into the fourth.

Milos completed his hat trick to open the scoring in the fourth on a counter attack to tie the game at 7-7 with 6:42 to go. Freshman Ryder Roberts scored from the front court to put UCLA up 8-7 with 5:07 remaining. Genidounias scored his second of the game for USC to tie it at 8-8 with 3:30 left in the contest. Then redshirt junior Cristiano Mirarchi nailed the game-winner from the front court with 2:47 left to provide the final score of 9-8.

The Bruins were 1-for-4 on power plays while USC was 4-for-7. Neither team attempted a penalty shot.

Redshirt freshman Garrett Danner played the entire game in the cage for UCLA and was credited with 12 saves, including five in the third quarter and eight in the second half. James Clark registered four saves in goal for the Trojans.

No. 5 Stanford 12, No. 3 Cal 10

After dropping a tough overtime decision to No. 1 USC in the morning, fifth-ranked Stanford rebounded to defeat No. 3 California to take third place at the NorCal Invitational.

Stanford (7-1) started the day coming within a goal of dealing a loss to USC in the morning semifinal, falling 8-7 in overtime.

Alex Bowen led the Cardinal with 10 goals Sunday, highlighted by a six-goal effort in the afternoon victory against California. Bret Bonanni scored six times while Griffin Bolan, BJ Churnside, Paul Rudolph and Forrest Watkins each had a goal on the day.

No. 3 Pacific 8, No. 6 UCSB 7

The No. 3 Pacific men's water polo team held on for a 8-7 win against No. 6 UC Santa Barbara to take fifth place at the NorCal Tournament Sunday at Cal's Speiker Pool. Casey Fleming, Goran Tomasevic and Balasz Erdelyi each scored a pair of goals for Pacific.

Alex Malkis made 10 saves in net for Pacific.

The Tigers led for the entire second half, as Pacific improved to 8-1. Tied 3-3 at halftime, Tomasevic, Alex Obert and Fleming scored in the third quarter for a 6-3 lead.

UCSB pulled within 7-6 with 3:33 remaining in the fourth, but Tomasevic iced the match by a restoring a two-goal lead with 2:23 to go. The Gauchos posted their final goal with 14 seconds left, and the Tigers ran out the clock to finish off a 3-1 weekend.

Through nine games, Pacific is outscoring opponents 162-61, an average of 20-7. The Tigers have held eight of nine opponents to single-digits in scoring.

Drew Holland played both contests in the cage, making a total of 19 saves, including 14 against USC.

No. 8 Loyola-Marymount 12, No. 7 UC Irvine 7

The game was tied eight times, including knotted up at 6-6 at the half. The teams would trade goals, starting with UC Irvine followed by back-to-back goals from the Serbians and then another by UC Irvine to make it 8-8 with 4:35 to play.

The Lions then put together another consecutive goals, the first by Seth Coldren and then second by Cvetkovic with 2:12 to play giving LMU an 10-8 lead. The Lions outscored UCI 4-2 in the quarter.

UC Irvine opened the final frame with a goal just 39 seconds in to make it 10-9, but the Lions would not allow another the final 7:21 of the game and earned goals from freshman Cory McGee and sophmore Milutin Mitrovic to close out the win.

"I was really proud of how we did not let up in the second half and closed out the games," head coach John Loughran said. "Would like us to be a little more consistent in the first half, but this team continues to grow and just does not give up."