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No. 1 UCLA Falls in Overtime to No. 3 California, 15-13

Dec 4, 2021
Makoto Kenney scored three goals against the Golden Bears on Saturday.

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LOS ANGELES -- No. 1 UCLA (20-4) saw its season come to an end after a 15-13 double overtime loss to third-ranked and second-seeded California (21-4) on Saturday evening in the semifinals of the 2021 NCAA Men's Water Polo Championship at Dirks Pool at Spieker Aquatics Center. UCLA fell to 90-74-1 in the series history.

The Bruins had seven different players score in the game, paced by senior Jake Cavano and sophomore Makoto Kenney, each with three goals. Graduate Nicolas Saveljic and junior Gabe Discipulo both had two goals apiece.

Junior Bernardo Maurizi got the start in the cage and went the distance, making 16 saves while surrendering 15 goals.

The Golden Bears were led by Max Casabella's six goals and eight total points (two assists).

> California outscored UCLA 4-2 in the opening period.
> After a goal by Cal, Saveljic (5:45) scored an equalizer from the front court. Then redshirt sophomore Jack Larsen scored a power play goal (4:42) to put the Bruins in front at 2-1.
> California scored the final three goals of the period.

> The Bruins outscored the Golden Bears 3-1 in the second period to tie things up at 5-5 at the break.
> Cavano scored his first of the game from the front court to cut the deficit to 4-3 at the 6:36 mark.
> After a goal by California (3:14), Kenney scored his first from the front court (2:48) and Discipulo netted his first from two meters (0:24) to end the scoring in the quarter.
> UCLA doubled up the Golden Bears in the third period, 4-2, to take a 9-7 lead into the fourt quarter.
> Saveljic opened the scoring in the third with his second goal after converting on a penalty shot (7:01).
> Discipulo found the back of the net for the second time from two meters (4:31) to put UCLA up 7-5.
> After Cal scored (2:04), freshman Chase Dodd scored with the shot clock expiring (0:39) to push the lead back to two at 8-6.
> The Golden Bears scored again (0:18), but the Bruins had another answer, this time pulling their goalie to give a 7-on-6 advantage with Kenney scoring his second of the game at the buzzer to push the lead back to two.

> The Golden Bears outscored UCLA 5-3 in the fourth quarter.
> Cal came out hot in the fourth, scoring the first three goals (7:07, 5:31, and 4:38) to reclaim the lead at 10-9.
> Cavano scored his second from the front court with a difficult cross-cage shot to tie it at 10-10 (2:53).
> After a power play goal by Cal (1:58), junior Tommy Gruwell scored his first on a power play (1:12) to tie it up at 11-11.
> Another power play goal for Cal (0:30) put the Golden Bears up 12-11 needing just one stop to seal the win. But UCLA called back-to-back timeouts, the second with 0:16 remaining, to pull its goalie and put Saveljic back in the 1B cap. Again the Bruins called on Kenney to deliver and his goal with three seconds left off a nice feed from Saveljic sent the game into overtime. The goal completed a hat trick for Kenney.

> Nikolaos Papanikolaou scored the only goal of the period for California on a power play (1:28) to give the Golden Bears a 13-12 lead heading into the final period.

> Papanikolaou opened the scoring in the final period (2:38) to put Cal up 14-12.
> Cavano completed his hat trick (2:14) to pull the Bruins to within one at 14-13 with a power play goal.
> But after the Golden Bears made a critical stop when it looked like the Bruins had numbers, Garrett Dunn scored the game-clinching goal (0:19) to provide the 15-13 final.

No. 3 California at No. 1 UCLA (2021 NCAA Championship - Semifinals)

No. 3 California 4 1 2 5 1 2 15
No. 1 UCLA 2 3 4 3 0 1 13

6x5 - UCLA - 3/9 - CAL - 5/7
Penalties - UCLA - 1/1 - CAL - 1/1

CAL Goals: Max Casabella 6, Jack Deely 4, Nikolaos Papanikolaou 2, Roberto Valera 2, Garrett Dunn 1
CAL Saves: Adrian Weinberg 8

UCLA Goals: Jake Cavano 3, Makoto Kenney 3, Gabe Discipulo 2, Nicolas Saveljic 2, Jack Larsen 1, Chase Dodd 1, Tommy Gruwell 1
UCLA Saves: Bernardo Maurizi 16