No. 3 UCLA Defeats No. 6 California Baptist, 19-14
LOS ANGELES -- No. 3 UCLA (7-7) advanced to the semifinals of the 2020-21 NCAA Championship with a 19-14 win over No. 6 California Baptist on Thursday afternoon at USC's Uytengsu Aquatics Center. With the win, the Bruins improved to 11-0 all-time against the CBU Lancers.
Eight different Bruins scored in the game and 13 different players scored a point (goal or assist) with junior Jake Cavano leading the way with a career-high-tying five goals and six points. UCLA also got hat tricks from senior Nicolas Saveljic (four points) and sophomore Gabe Discipulo (three points). Sophomore Bernardo Maurizi got the start in the cage and tallied five saves while allowing four goals in the first half. Redshirt freshman Chase Honaker came on in relief in the second half and surrendered 10 goals.
"Congratulations to CBU," UCLA head coach Adam Wright said. "This was a big year for their program in getting here. They gave us what we needed today. They came out and made it really intense and played tough in the pool."
Freshman Mo Kenney got the Bruins on the board first (6:10) with a counter score that was assisted by senior Chasen Travisano. Cavano made it 2-0 with a power play goal (5:38) on an assist from sophomore Tommy Gruwell. After the Lancers' Hunter Barnett scored from set, Saveljic extended the lead to 3-1 with a power play goal (3:04). Cavano netted his second of the period (2:44) with a cross-cage heater to push the lead to 4-1. Zach Lowery trimmed the Bruins' lead to 4-2 with a power play goal for CBU (2:17). PJ McDonough scored scored the final goal of the first period from the front court (1:44) to cut the Bruins' lead to 4-3 at the end of one.
Cavano opened the scoring in the second period with his third goal of the game (6:22) to put UCLA up 5-3. Then freshman Guillermo Ocasio scored the first goal of his collegiate career to put the Bruins up 6-3 (2:58). After McDonough scored his second for CBU (2:47), the Bruins scored the final three goals of the period. Redshirt junior Evan Rosenfeld scored from the front court (2:20) and then Saveljic netted his second from the front court (1:21) to make it 8-4. Cavano then completed his hat trick with a goal at even strength (0:01) to beat the buzzer, putting the Bruins up 9-4 at the break.
Freshman Tanner Pulice opened the scoring in the third period (7:29), which UCLA won 6-5. After CBU scored back-to-back goals to close the gap to 10-6, Discipulo scored his first of the game from two meters (5:45). Saveljic then completed his hat trick with a power play goal (4:59) to push the lead to 12-6. The Bruins would take a 15-9 lead into the fourth quarter after Ocasio netted his second of the game (2:02), Discipulo getting his second (1:03) and sophomore Cameron Reagan scoring his first (0:32).
CBU would win the fourth quarter, 5-4, on the strength of going 2-for-2 on power plays and converting a penalty shot in the final stanza. Kenney scored his second of the game (6:17) and Rosenfeld followed suit with his second (5:49) to extend the lead to 17-10. Cavano's fifth score of the game came when he converted a penalty shot (3:37) and Discipulo completed his hat trick with another goal at set (2:20) to put the Bruins up 19-11. CBU scored the final three goals of the game to provide the 19-14 final.
"When you are dong things the right way, it fells really good," Cavano said when asked about his 5-for-5 shooting day. "All of the goals I had today were situations where it was my shot. But I'm not focused on the goals I had, we have to clean up our defense."
Gabe Thorne registered 12 saves for CBU while allowing 17 goals in 28:22 of action. Tristan Felberg played in goal for the final 3:38 for the Lancers and had two saves while allowing two scores. CBU was led in scoring by McDonough's four goals on six shots.
The Bruins return to action on Saturday, March 20, in the first NCAA Semifinal against No. 1 Stanford. First sprint is slated for 2:00 p.m. PDT.
No. 6 California Baptist vs. No. 3 UCLA (NCAA Opening Round Game - Uytengsu Aquatics Center)
|No. 6 CBU||3||1||5||5||14|
|No. 3 UCLA||4||5||6||4||19|
6x5 - UCLA - 4/8 - CBU - 4/5
Penalties - UCLA - 1/1- CBU - 3/3
CBU Goals: PJ McDonough 4, Joseph Griffin 3, Hunter Barnett 2, Zach Lowery 2, Riley Bumgardner 1, Matt Olsen 1, Angel Sanchez 1
CBU Saves: Gabe Thorne 12, Tristan Felberg 2
UCLA Goals: Jake Cavano 5, Nicolas Saveljic 3, Gabe Discipulo 3, Evan Rosenfeld 2, Guillermo Ocasio 2, Mo Kenney 2, Cameron Reagan 1, Tanner Pulice 1
UCLA Saves: Bernardo Maurizi 5