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waterpolo-men-nc flag | October 28, 2013

Roundup: UCLA rallies to win

Cristiano Mirarchi scored a second-half hat trick for UCLA.

LOS ANGELES -- Second-ranked UCLA rallied to post a 12-10 win against No. 3 Pacific on Sunday afternoon at Spieker Aquatics Center. The Bruins improved to 21-2 overall and 2-1 in the MPSF while the Tigers dropped to 15-3 overall and 2-1 in league play. The Bruins also improved to 41-3 all time against Pacific.

The Bruins trailed by as many as three goals at 6-3 and 7-4 in the first half before mounting their second-half comeback.

Danny McClintick and Cristiano Mirarchi (all in the second half) both completed hat tricks to lead the Bruins. Kevin Oliveira led Pacific with three goals (all in the first half).

UCLA dominated the fourth period, posting four goals while holding the Tigers to a game-low one score in the quarter.

Garrett Danner made the start in the cage for UCLA, playing all four quarters, making a season-low five saves, but came up huge in the fourth with three important stops. Alex Malkis manned the cage for Pacific and was credited with eight stops.

No. 1 Southern California 16, No. 6 UC Santa Barbara 10

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -- Top-ranked Southern California turned a high-scoring affair to its favor Sunday as the Trojans outgunned their No. 6 host UC Santa Barbara to the tune of 16-10. Connor Virjee was USC's top gun on the day with five goals for the Trojan cause, helping improve USC to 20-1 overall and 2-0 in MPSF play.

Both teams came out of the gates with guns blazing, with 10 goals scored in the first frame alone. The Trojans tallied the first three thanks to Jeremy Davie, Kostas Genidounias and Connor Virjee. UCSB got one to go three minutes in, and made it 4-2 midway through the period, but USC goalie James Clark put up a wall in the cage on the Gauchos next-best chance, slamming down a 5-meter penalty try to keep USC in command. Mace Rapsey delivered soon after for the Trojans to make it a 5-2 USC lead, although the Gauchos would creep to within one before Virjee's third of the day made it a 6-4 USC lead entering the second frame. There, the teams stayed tight, as UCSB cut it to a one-goal margin twice more. It was a trim 8-7 USC advantage just one minute away from halftime until Rapsey struck again with 32 seconds left to put USC up 9-7 at the break.

USC's defense would lock down in the second half, though, allowing just a single Gaucho goal in the third while Genidounias punched in a pair and Nikola Vavic got in on the action for a 12-8 USC lead entering the fourth. The Trojans kept coming offensively with four more goals. UCSB was awarded its third penalty shot of the day in that frame, converting that chance with five minutes remaining, but USC was well in control by that time and the Trojans wrapped up a 16-10 decision.

No. 4 Stanford 11, No. 9 Pepperdine 3

STANFORD, Calif. -- For the third consecutive game the defense of fourth-ranked Stanford was in peak form, smothering No. 9 Pepperdine from the start in an 11-3 win Sunday at Avery Aquatic Center.

Stanford improved to 13-4 and 2-1 in the MPSF. Pepperdine fell to 8-9 overall and 0-3 in MPSF action.

Goalie Drew Holland made eight saves and the Cardinal defense held the Waves to a 1-for-10 showing on its 6-on-5 advantages in the contest. Pepperdine was held scoreless in the first half and only managed its first goal 56 seconds into the third period, a total scoreless drought of 16:56.

On the offensive end, the Cardinal were led by Alex Bowen’s hat trick, while the quartet of Bret Bonanni, BJ Churnside, Jackson Kimbell and Paul Rudolph each scored twice.