Check out a breakdown of the UCLA sports stories you might have missed this week.
Men’s water polo
After the first weekend of competition, two teams from USA Water Polo’s National League have jumped out to undefeated starts.
The defending champion, New York Athletic Club, headlined by UCLA alumni Josh Samuels and Chancellor Ramirez, and the Olympic Club both started 2-0 this weekend with wins over USA Collegiate and USA University, and the Los Angeles Athletic Club and Alumni, respectively.
Four of the eight games were decided by two goals or less, but the weekend’s most intense match came down to a penalty shot between two of UCLA’s most accomplished players.
The match between the Olympic Club and the Los Angeles Athletic Club featured a slew of former Bruins. 2014 NCAA tournament MVP Danny McClintick, 2015 co-captain Anthony Daboub, Ryder Roberts, the seventh-highest scoring Bruin in school history, and UCLA career saves record-holder Garrett Danner all toed the line against 2016 scoring leader Patrick Fellner and the fourth-highest scoring Bruin in school history, Paul Reynolds of the Olympic Club.
The LAAC struck first, but a goal from Reynolds, assisted by Fellner, tied the game up and the OC would relinquish the lead only once until the closing seconds of the fourth quarter.
Goals from the LAAC – including one from McClintick – nearly every time were answered by a goal from Fellner, who finished the game with three goals in regulation, and by the end of the third quarter, the OC had a 6-3 lead.
Danner kept the OC scoreless in the fourth quarter, however, and with less than two minutes to go, Roberts led a thunderous LAAC comeback. He scored his first goal of the game with 46 seconds to go to bring the score to 6-5, and punched in a five-meter with just one second left to send the game into penalty shots.
Reynolds sent the OC’s first attempt past Danner, and Roberts did the same against California goalie Lazar Andric. Daboub took the next shot for the LAAC, but Andric came up with a block to give OC a one-goal advantage.
Danner got in front of the following shot to even up the shootout, and to open up the last round, Fellner faced off against his former goalie. He couldn’t get in front of Fellner’s shot fast enough, and Andric blocked the Trojans’ Nick Bell’s shot to give the Olympic Club the win.
The next round of National League play will be in Irvine, starting March 11.
Freshman Hidetoshi Yoshihara made a team-high 15 birdies for UCLA men’s golf as the Bruins took 13th place at the Hayt this past weekend in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.
Yoshihara made eight alone Sunday, the last day of the tournament, and his four-under-par 68 was his best round of the season so far. He finished with the fourth-lowest score.
Junior Tyler Collier was four shots behind Yoshihara in Sunday’s round, and tied forseventh overall with an even-par 216. His five birdies on Sunday were negated by five bogeys.
The rest of the team finished well above par over the three-day weekend. The Bruins’ third place finisher, sophomore Cole Madey, shot 16 over par and sophomore Patrick Murphy, the team’s seventh golfer, was 39 over par.
The team will have two weeks off before resuming competition in California at the Lamkin San Diego Classic.