No. 2 UCLA Falls to No. 4 USC, 11-7
LOS ANGELES -- No. 2 UCLA (6-7, 5-5 MPSF) fell to No. 4 USC (6-8, 3-7 MPSF) in the third-place game of the MPSF Championship at Dirks Pool at Spieker Aquatics Center on Sunday afternoon, 11-7.
Six different Bruins scored in the game with redshirt junior Evan Rosenfeld leading the way with two goals. Freshman Chase Honaker got the start in the cage, playing in his first collegiate game. He played the first 22:24 of the contest recording six saves while allowing eight goals. Freshman Garret Griggs played in just his second collegiate game and had two stops while surrendering two scores in 9:36. Senior Nicolas Saveljic then put on the goalie cap to give the Bruins a man-advantage over the final 1:16 and allowed one score.
The Trojans dominated the first period, outscoring the Bruins 4-0. Wyatt Barker got USC on the board first with a goal at even strength (6:37) and then Jake Ehrhardt made it 2-0 with a power play goal (5:44). Marcus Longton extended the lead to 3-0 (3:05) with a goal from the front court. Tony Nardelli made it 4-0 Trojans with a redirect on a drive and finish (0:25).
Both teams' defenses made several good stops in the second period without allowing a goal for the first six-plus minutes before Luke Wyatt scored from the front court (1:17) to push the Trojan lead to 5-0. Freshman Hayden Nightingale took a pass from sophomore Tommy Gruwell to put the Bruins on the board (0:48) with a power play goal to end the scoring in the first half with the Trojans leading 5-1.
Rosenfeld opened the scoring in the third period (5:33) to cut the Trojans' lead to 5-2. Wyatt scored his second of the game on a counter (4:36) to push the lead to 6-2. Redshirt freshman Giorgio Alessandria took a nice feed from senior Chasen Travisano to find the back of the net (3:09) to trim USC's lead to 6-3. Wyatt completed his hat trick with a power play goal (2:38) that put USC up 7-3. Jacob Mercep made it 8-3 with a shot from distance (1:59). Travisano then got in on the scoring with a nearside skipper (1:36) to make it 8-4. Tom McGuire scored on a counter to build the Trojans' lead to 9-4 (0:57). Gruwell then scored off a nice feed from Saveljic (0:23) to trim the Trojans' lead to 9-5 to end the scoring in the third period.
Saveljic then got in on the scoring to open the fourth period with a penalty conversion (6:29) to trim the deficit to 9-6. Freshman goalie Garret Griggs then hit Rosenfeld in stride for a fastbreak goal (6:01) to cut the Trojans' lead to 9-7, but it was as close the Bruins would get. Mercep scored his second of the game for the Trojans (5:22) on a power play to push the lead to 10-7. The Bruins had a couple of shots bar out down the stretch to freeze the scoring for UCLA. Chris Sturtevant scored a power play goal (1:16) for the Trojans to provide the 11-7 final.
Nic Porter registered 14 saves for USC, which was led in scoring by Wyatt's hat trick.
The Bruins now wait to hear from the NCAA Selection Committee for an at-large bid to the 2020-21 NCAA Championship, hosted by USC.
No. 4 USC at No. 2 UCLA (MPSF 3rd-Place Game - Spieker Aquatics Center)
|No. 4 USC||4||1||4||2||11|
|No. 2 UCLA||0||1||4||2||7|
6x5 - UCLA - 2/9 - USC - 4/6
Penalties - UCLA - 1/1- USC - 0/1
USC Goals: Luke Wyatt 3, Jacob Mercep 2, Chris Sturtevant 1, Tom McGuire 1, Wyatt Barker 1, Tony Nardelli 1, Jake Ehrhardt 1, Marcus Longton 1
USC Saves: Nic Porter 14
UCLA Goals: Evan Rosenfeld 2, Chasen Travisano 1, Hayden Nightingale 1, Nicolas Saveljic 1, Tommy Gruwell 1, Giorgio Alessandria 1
UCLA Saves: Chase Honaker 6, Garret Griggs 2