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Top-Ranked UCLA Cruises Past No. 10 Princeton, 12-6

Dec 2, 2021
Tommy Gruwell scored four points in the win over the Tigers on Thursday afternoon (three goals, one assist).

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LOS ANGELES -- No. 1 UCLA (20-3) cruised into the semifinals of the 2021 NCAA Men's Water Polo Championship on Thursday afternoon with a 12-6 win over No. 10 Princeton (26-8) at Dirks Pool at Spieker Aquatics Center. UCLA improved to 16-0 in the series history against the Tigers.

The Bruins had nine different players score in the game, paced by Tommy Gruwell's game-high three goals. The junior attacker also had one assist for a total of four points and added a steal in the win. Gianpiero Di Martire was the only other Bruin to score multiple goals in the game  The redshirt freshman attacker tallied two goals and a game-high-tying three steals. Graduate attacker Chasen Travisano and senior attacker/utility Jake Cavano each tallied three points (one goal, two assists) and one steal.

Junior Bernardo Maurizi got the start in the cage and played the first three quarters, registering five saves while allowing five goals. Sophomore goalkeeper Garret Griggs came on in the fourth quarter and tallied three saves while surrendering one goal.

> UCLA outscored Princeton 4-1 in the opening period.
> Travisano (5:45), Di Martire (3:32), and redshirt sophomore Giorgio Alessandria (2:16) scored the first three goals of the game to put the Bruins up 3-0.
> After a penalty goal by Princeton (1:04), Gruwell netted his first of the game (0:40) to end the scoring in the period.

> The Bruins outscored the Tigers 5-3 in the second period to build a 9-4 lead at the break.
> The two teams traded goals for the first four scores of the quarter. Gruwell added his second (5:59) on a penalty shot and Cavano found the back of the net (5:18) to help UCLA maintain its three-goal lead at 6-3. But that goal sparked a 3-0 run that put UCLA comfortably ahead at 8-3. Freshman Chase Dodd (3:36) and sophomore Makoto Kenney (2:41) scored the other two goals in that span.
> After a power play goal by Princeton (0:40) cut the Bruins' lead to 8-4, Gruwell completed his hat trick on a 6-on-5 opportunity (0:12).
> UCLA and Princeton battled to a 1-1 draw in the third quarter as the Bruins took a 10-5 lead into the final stanza.
> Redshirt sophomore Jack Larsen scored the only goal for the Bruins in the third (7:05) from the front court.
> UCLA went 0-for-2 on power plays in the third period.

> The Bruins outscored Princeton 2-1 in the fourth quarter to provide the 12-6 final.
> Graduate Nicolas Saveljic converted a penalty shot (6:31) to open the scoring in the period.
> After a goal by Princeton (1:46), Di Martire scored his second of the game (0:32) to end the scoring on a nice drive and finish.

The Bruins advance to the NCAA Semifinals where they will host second-seeded California (20-4) on Saturday, Dec. 4 at 4:00 p.m. PT.

No. 10 Princeton at No. 1 UCLA (2021 NCAA Championship - Quarterfinals)

No. 10 Princeton 1 3 1 1 6
No. 1 UCLA 4 5 1 2 12

6x5 - UCLA - 1/7 - PRIN - 3/9
Penalties - UCLA - 2/2 - PRIN - 1/1

PRIN Goals: Roko Pozaric 2, George Caras 1, Mitchell Cooper 1, Ryan Neapole 1, Yurian Quinones 1
PRIN Saves: Antonio Knez 5

UCLA Goals: Tommy Gruwell 3, Gianpiero Di Martire 2, Jake Cavano 1, Jack Larsen 1, Chase Dodd 1, Chasen Travisano 1, Nicolas Saveljic 1, Makoto Kenney 1, Giorgio Alessandria 1
UCLA Saves: Bernardo Maurizi 5, Garret Griggs 3