College NCAA Water Polo (Men)

UCLA water polo players edge out Pacific, USC and Stanford collect two victories

After winning the last week’s exciting MSPF derby, Cal water polo team had a week off. On the other side, UCLA squad had to recover from the defeat and prepare themselves for a nonconference encounter with No. 5 Pacific at Dirks Pool at Spieker Aquatics Center.

Last weekend also saw USC storm past Concordia and San Jose State, while Stanford held off Long Beach State and came away with a nice win against UC Irvine.


UCLA water polo players successfully recovered from their recent MPSF loss to Cal and collected their 16th victory this season. Pacific took the first lead after Andres Schmidt netted the opener, but Matt Farmer immediately equalized. Then the Bruins took over the control, thanks to Chasen Travisano and Max Irving UCLA went ahead 3:1 before the second quarter. Quentin Osborne increased his team’s lead to three making it difficult for the Tigers to keep up. The difference was constantly changing, but Pacific only managed to bring it down to two on two occasions. UCLA even had 7:3 at one point but went on a break with a three-goal advantage (7:4).

In the third period, things started to get more complicated for the Tigers. UCLA’s game was still on point as Farmer and Nicolas Saveljic found the net and the difference went up to five. Everything seemed over after 24 minutes as UCLA squad was unstoppable and Pacific was down by six (11:5). However, it was not until the final period that Pacific squad woke up and seriously threatened its rival. Tiger Ben Stevenson netted two in a row to bring down the deficit to four. Roelse brought it back to five, but then it was as if the Bruins’ defense had vanished. Pacific scored four consecutive goals and was down by one with 10 seconds left on the clock. It was too late for a comeback, UCLA emerged as the winner. Brilliant Farmer scored four goals and Alex Roelse netted three, as much as Engin Ege Colak did for Pacific water polo club.

(3:1, 4:3, 4:1, 6:1)


UCLA’s next opponents are Stanford and San Jose State.


USC water polo team, which recently emerged as top-ranked, on October 27 traveled to Irvine where they proved too strong for Concordia (25:3). The Trojans got off to a better start and achieved a nice three-goal advantage in the first eight minutes (5:2). They increased it to nine at halftime after leaving the hosting team scoreless in the second period (11:2). Concordia water polo squad was obviously unable to respond as it netted only one in the second half. Thirteen Trojans managed to score in this game. They were led by Matteo Morelli who netted five goals.

(5:2, 6:0, 7:1, 7:0)


On October 28, USC collected their 21st win this season as they triumphed at home over San Jose State (24:8). Reminder: The Trojans suffered the only loss so far to UCLA on September 24 (11:13).

USC hosted San Jose State with their hopes high. They demonstrated why they were favorites in this match by opening the game with seven consecutive goals. They went on a break with a nice difference (12:4) which was insurmountable for SJS water polo players. The Trojans just kept increasing the lead and entered the final period eliminating all doubts about who would be the winner (19:4). Although the hosts then took their foot off the gas, their game was on point and SJS could only wait for the match to end. Each of the game’s four top scorers– James Walters, Marko Vavic, Grant Stein and Marin Dasic – recorded a hat trick. Twelve more Trojans added one goal each.

USC 24:8 SJS
(7:2, 5:2, 7:0, 5:4)


USC will next weekend face California and Pacific water polo teams.


Last weekend saw another close encounter. It was the face-off between Stanford and Long Beach State. Eventually, Stanford came out as the winner, 10:9. LBS took the first lead and after that, the teams scored one after another until the last minute of the first quarter when Cardinal took over the lead thanks to Ben Hallock (3:2). Chandler Kaltenbach tied the result again, but Hallock was the hero again and Stanford went on a break with a minimum advantage (4:3).

Stanford water polo players opened the second half better than their rival. Connor Stapleton and excellent Hallock found the net and Cardinal went ahead 6:3. LBS were struggling and Stanford managed to preserve this difference until the end of the third quarter (8:5). Cardinal had a four-goal advantage in the middle of the fourth period (10:6), but then the offense by LBS followed. The 49ers brought the deficit down to one with two minutes left on the clock. None of the players managed to score by the end of the game, so Stanford celebrated their 8th win in a row.

(3:2, 1:1, 4:2, 2:4)


In spite of the slow start, Cardinal came away with a nice 11:6 win against UC Irvine. Anteater Jack Trush was the only scorer in the first quarter, and Kyle Trush put UC Irvine into a 2:0 lead. Stanford water polo players then responded powerfully and had a satisfying advantage at halftime (4:2). Their defense was on point so Anteaters had no chance of keeping parity. UC Irvine was trailing until the end but was unable to jeopardize Cardinal’s lead. Reid Chase recorded a hat trick and Kyle Trush also scored three goals for UC Irvine.

(0:1, 4:1, 3:1, 4:3)


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