The UCLA men’s water polo team had the four-time defending national champions on the ropes the entire afternoon, but it wasn’t enough.
Despite leading for much of Sunday’s national championship game, the second-seeded Bruins (28-5) failed to close, allowing USC sophomore driver Kostas Genidounias to score the eventual game-winner with 40 seconds to play.
Playing tough defense on their final possession, the Trojans were able to force the Bruins into a turnover, sealing the Bruins’ fate, 11-10.
With the victory, USC (29-0) captured its fifth straight men’s water polo title, with three of the last four coming against UCLA. This also marks the second time in the last five years that the Trojans have completed an undefeated season.
Senior attacker Bret Lathrope and freshman utility Danny McClintick led the Bruins with two goals apiece, but USC redshirt senior driver Michael Rosenthal led all scorers with three goals.
The loss in the title games drops the Bruins’ record against ‘SC this season to 0-3. All three games were decided by a single goal.
Compiled by Andrew Erickson, Bruins Sports senior staff.