No. 2 UCLA Heads to Stanford for MPSF Invitational
LOS ANGELES – No. 2 UCLA (10-0) hits the road again this week and heads to Stanford, Calif., to compete at the MPSF Invitational on Sept. 23-25 at Stanford's Avery Aquatic Center. The Bruins open up with 15th-seeded Santa Clara (2-3) on Friday (2:00 p.m. PT) at Belardi Pool. Should they win, the Bruins will play the winner of No. 7 Long Beach State and No. 10 San Jose State. at 10:40 a.m. PT on Saturday at Avery Stadium. Should they fall, they will play the loser of the LBSU/SJSU game on Saturday at Belardi Pool at 10:40 a.m. PT. Stanford will provide a stationary live stream for all games at Avery Stadium and will provide live stats for every game of the tournament! For rosters, schedules, competing teams, ticket prices, live stream and live stat links, and directions, click here.
SCHEDULE AT A GLANCE
Friday, Sept. 23 (MPSF Invitational - Avery Aquatic Center)
2:00 PM PT – No. 2 UCLA vs. No. 15 Santa Clara | Live Stats
Sunday, Sept. 25 (MPSF Invitational - Avery Aquatic Center)
TBD – No. 2 UCLA vs. TBD | Live Stream
UCLA is 14-0 all-time in the series history against Santa Clara. The Bruins won the last meeting, 13-7, at the Mountain Pacific Invitational at Stanford (Oct. 12, 2018).
UCLA is 104-21-1 all-time in the series history against Long Beach State. The Bruins won the last meeting, dismantling the Beach, 15-9, in their 2022 home opener (Sept. 9, 2022).
UCLA is 15-1 all-time in the series history against San Jose State. The Bruins won the last meeting, 13-7, in their first game of the Aggie Roundup last weekend at UC Davis (Sept. 16, 2022).
LAST WEEK IN BRUIN WATER POLO
UCLA went 4-0 last week, all against Top-20 teams, at the UC Davis Aggie Roundup to improve to 10-0 on the year. The Bruins never trailed and cruised to a 13-7 win over No. 10 San Jose State (Sept. 16). UCLA had seven different players score in the game, which included a career-high four goals from sophomore Chase Dodd. Senior Bernardo Maurizi started in the cage and went the distance, tallying 10 saves, one assist, and one steal while allowing seven goals (five on power plays).
UCLA dominated the second and fourth quarters to run away with a 17-8 victory over No. 16 California Baptist University (Sept. 16). The Bruins had 10 different players score in the game, which included five players with two goals apiece (Dodd, super senior Jake Cavano, freshman Gray Carson, redshirt sophomore Gianpiero Di Martire, and redshirt freshman Anthony Gross). Dodd ended as the game's leading scorer with four points as he also was credited with a couple of assists. Junior Garret Griggs started in the cage and went the distance, tallying 11 saves and one steal while allowing eight goals (five on power plays).
The Bruins got off to a slow start but rallied to defeat No. 11 Princeton, 8-6, on Sept. 17. UCLA only had five players score in the game, which included three players with a team-high two goals (Dodd, Cavano, and super senior Evan Rosenfeld). Dodd tied as the game's leading scorer with four points as he also was credited with a couple of assists. Maurizi kept UCLA in the game (never led until the 3:03 mark of the fourth quarter) with a season-high 12 saves. He also had one steal while allowing six goals (four on power plays and one on a counter).
UCLA thwarted an upset bid by No. 14 Harvard, getting two key defensive stops in the final 20 seconds to hold on for a 16-15 win in the Bruins' final game of the Aggie Roundup (Sept. 17). The Bruins had 10 players score in the game, which included a career-high three goals from Di Martire and a career-high-tying hat trick from senior Andy Rodgers. Rodgers finished as the leading scorer with five points (also had two assists). Redshirt freshmen Grant Loth and Trey Doten also reached multiple goals scored (two) against the Crimson. Griggs got the start in the cage and went the distance, registering nine saves and three steals while allowing 15 goals.
CAVANO NAMED MPSF WEST/DELFINA PLAYER OF THE WEEK
UCLA super senior attacker/utility Jake Cavano (Huntington Beach, Calif./Hunting Beach HS) was named the MPSF West/Delfina Player of the Week as announced by the league office (Sept. 19). Cavano scored seven goals through four wins over Top-20 teams at the UC Davis Aggie Roundup (Sept. 16-17). Cavano put away the game-winning goal in three of the four contests. He scored twice in wins over No. 10 San Jose State, No. 16 California Baptist, and No. 11 Princeton, and added one goal in the win over No. 14 Harvard. Cavano is the only Bruin to score at least one goal in all 10 games of the 2022 season. This was Cavano's second career MPSF Player of the Week award.
MAURIZI NAMED MPSF WEST/DELFINA PLAYER OF THE WEEK
UCLA senior goalkeeper Bernardo Maurizi (Florence, Italy/Salesiani Firenze) was named the MPSF West/Delfina Player of the Week as announced by the league office (Sept. 5). Maurizi registered 26 saves over the two and a half games he played to help the Bruins win the UC San Diego Invitational (Sept. 3-4). He had eight saves and two steals against No. 8 UC Santa Barbara. He played the second half in the win over No. 7 UC Davis and had seven saves, one steal, and one assist, while only allowing two goals. He then had 11 saves and three steals in the win over No. 2 USC. He had an impressive goals against average of 5.6 against three Top 10 teams this past weekend. This was Maurizi's first career MPSF weekly award.
UCLA PICKED TO FINISH SECOND IN MPSF
Defending NCAA Champion California recorded a perfect 49 points in the 2022 MPSF Men's Water Polo Coaches' poll and was picked to win the MPSF's Western Division title. UCLA placed second with 41 points. USC came in third with 39 points while Stanford was fourth with 31 points. In the MPSF Eastern Division, Austin College was picked to win with 24 points. Washington & Jefferson was projected second with 16 points, followed by Penn State Behrend (13) and Augustana (11).
Super seniors Evan Rosenfeld (2021 First-Team All-American) and Jake Cavano (2021 Honorable Mention All-American) have both decided to return to Westwood for one final season. Rosenfeld, a three-time All-American and 2021 MPSF Tournament MVP, scored 13 goals as a defender a year ago. Cavano, a four-time All-American, was tied for second on the team in scoring with 31 goals last season. Rosenfeld is working towards a master's degree in the Department of Education's Transformative Coaching and Leadership.
In addition to the aforementioned Rosenfeld and Cavano, the Bruins also return two more All-Americans in Tommy Gruwell and Bernardo Maurizi. Gruwell, a three-time All-American, returns for his senior season after ranking fifth on the team in scoring with 26 goals last year. He also spent the summer with Team USA where tallied three goals at the 2022 FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary. Starting senior goalie Bernardo Maurizi (9-4 last year), a two-time All-American, returns in the cage.
UCLA 2022 OUTLOOK
UCLA returns five of its top seven scorers and all three goalkeepers that saw action a year ago from the 2021 MPSF Championship team. Reserve goalkeepers junior Garret Griggs (10-0 in 2021) and redshirt junior Chase Honaker (1-0 in 2021) also return to bolster the Bruin defense.
Including the firepower from the four All-Americans, the Bruin offense looks to be very strong. Sophomore Chase Dodd was tied for second on the team in scoring with 31 goals and returns to UCLA after a busy summer where he tallied 13 goals at the 2022 FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, for Team USA. He also scored 17 goals at the 2022 FINA Intercontinental Cup in Lima, Peru and was named MVP of the gold medal match.
The Bruins also return capable offensive players in redshirt junior Jack Larsen (23 goals), redshirt sophomore Gianpiero Di Martire (19 goals), junior Makoto Kenney (14 goals), sophomore Eli Liechty (12 goals), senior Gabe Discipulo (11 goals), senior Andy Rodgers (11 goals), and redshirt junior Giorgio Alessandria (11 goals).
The Bruins will look to replace 2020 NCAA Player of the Year and Cutino Award winner, Nicolas Saveljic (led the team with 33 goals). UCLA also lost the services of seniors Felix Brozyna-Vilim (30 goals) and Chasen Travisano (11 goals), and sophomore Tanner Pulice (17 goals).
Arriving in Westwood this season and looking to make an immediate impact is freshmen Gray Carson (6-4, UTL, Long Beach, Calif., Woodrow Wilson HS), and Noah Rowe (6-4, ATK, North Tustin, Calif., Foothill HS).
The Bruins ended the 2021 season with a 20-4 overall record and captured their sixth MPSF Championship in program history.
A CHAMPIONSHIP PROGRAM
The UCLA Bruins captured their 12th NCAA Championship in men's water polo with a 7-6 win at USC on Mar. 21, 2021, at USC's Uytengsu Aquatics Center. The win also marked the 119th NCAA Championship for the UCLA Athletic Department. It was a balanced scoring effort by the Bruins, who received goals from six different players. Junior Jake Cavano, who was named to the 2020 First-Team All-NCAA Tournament, scored two goals, including the eventual difference maker with 6:23 left in the game. Sophomore goalkeeper Bernardo Maurizi, who also was named First-Team All-NCAA Tournament, held the Trojans scoreless throughout the first half and racked up nine saves. UCLA never trailed in the game, though USC briefly pulled even at 4-4. Nicolas Saveljic was named the NCAA Tournament MVP.
THE WRIGHT STUFF
After guiding the Bruins to the NCAA Championship in 2020 and being named the ACWPC National Coach of the Year, Adam Wright returns for his 14th season as UCLA's head men's water polo coach in 2022 with an overall record of 306-58 (.841) and an MPSF mark of 59-23 (.720). His teams earned perfect APR (Academic Progress Rate) scores of 1,000 in 2014, 2015 and 2016 while winning the school's 112th, 113th and 114th NCAA Championships in 2014, 2015 and 2017. Wright added the fourth NCAA Championship to his resume as a head coach in 2020 (Mar. 21, 2021) and a fourth perfect APR score in 2021. On July 20, 2017, then-UCLA Director of Athletics, Dan Guerrero, announced that Wright will guide both the UCLA men's and women's water polo teams. Wright was inducted into the USA Water Polo Hall of Fame on June 20, 2019, and to the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame in 2020. On March 22, 2022, UCLA Director of Athletics, Martin Jarmond, announced that Wright had signed a new six-year contract, starting in July of 2022, as the Head Coach for both of the Bruins' Men's and Women's Water Polo programs.
Overall Record: 20-4 | Final Ranking: 3rd | NCAA Finish: T-3rd | MPSF Tournament Finish: 1st
The UCLA Bruins captured the 2021 MPSF Men's Water Polo Championship with an 11-10 win at Stanford at Avery Aquatic Center (Nov. 21, 2021). The win marked the Bruins' sixth MPSF Championship in history while completing a season sweep of the Cardinal (3-0), extending the series winning streak to four games.
POLLING THE BRUINS
UCLA remained at No. 2 in this week's CWPA National Men's Varsity Top 20 Poll (95 points), released on Sept. 21.
|2022 MEN'S VARSITY TOP 20 (WEEK 3/SEPTEMBER 21)|
|Rank||Team||Week 2 Poll||Points|
|7||Long Beach State||7||70|
|8||UC Santa Barbara||8||65|
|9||San Jose State||10||53|
|14||UC San Diego||13||40|
|16 (T)||California Baptist||16||22|
|18 (T)||St. Francis College Brooklyn||19||11|