UCLA men’s waterpolo remains undefeated all-time against LMU
Freshman attacker Noah Rowe goes up for a shot. Rowe was one of 12 Bruins to score against the the Lions on Saturday. (Anya Yakimenko/Daily Bruin staff)
Men's Water Polo
|No. 2 UCLA||17|
|No. 12 LMU||10|
By Cole Lizar
Nov. 6, 2022 3:08 p.m.
After failing to score more than 10 points in its previous match, the Bruins managed to come back and nearly double their offensive production in the final road game of the regular season.
No. 2 UCLA men’s water polo (20-2, 1-1 MPSF) beat No. 12 Loyola Marymount (15-7, 7-1 WWPA) by a score of 17-10 at Burns Aquatics Center, outscoring the Lions 9-6 across the first two stanzas for its highest first half total since Oct. 20.
Coach Adam Wright said the Bruins’ powerful offensive presence against the Lions was reassuring with the postseason rapidly approaching.
“When you score 16 natural goals, that’s really good,” Wright said. “And the scoring was pretty well balanced. Our counter attack was much better today (Saturday), as was our movement in the front-court. We were actually driving today, which we did not do in the second half against Cal last week … our centers were really good today as well.”
UCLA matched a season-high 17 points on Saturday, with 16 coming at even strength. The win maintained the Bruins’ undefeated all-time record against the Lions, and grew its win streak to 31 over the neighboring school.
Junior goalkeeper Garret Griggs said the team’s chemistry helped them secure the win on the road.
“Everyone was just clicking on all cylinders, and doing the little things right today (Saturday),” Griggs said. “Communication was really good on the offensive side. We have a couple miscues here and there but besides that, everyone was on the same page and communication was the key to that.”
With only one game left in the regular season and a current top-two national ranking, the Bruins have a good chance to earn favorable seeding in the NCAA tournament. Multiple UCLA players also have a shot at clinching prestigious post-season awards for their performance this year.
Sophomore attacker Chase Dodd, one of the Bruins on the watchlist for the Cutino Award, which is given out to the best player in men’s and women’s water polo, said he would be honored to win but is more focused on finishing the season strong and building momentum for the playoffs.
“Awards like that (Cutino Award) really draw all the aspects away from a team sport like water polo,” Dodd said. “It’s one of the greatest awards you can win in men’s water polo so it would be the cherry on top if we have opportunity to win the NCAA championship this year.”
22 Bruins saw the water against the Lions, with 12 different players denting the twine.
Wright said the game was a great opportunity to test out different lineups and reward players that do not usually have a chance to play.
“It’s nice to have opportunities to get people out there,” Wright said. “They’re all working hard (in practice), and some just get to play (in games) more than others, so when you have that chance to support them and get them out there, it’s great.”
The Bruins return home next Friday at 1 p.m. to see its cross-town rival USC in the last game of the regular season.