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No. 3 UCLA Opens MPSF Slate at No. 1 Stanford

Oct 11, 2022
The Bruins will open up MPSF play this week at No. 1 Stanford at 1:00 p.m. PT on Saturday, Oct. 15.

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LOS ANGELES – No. 3 UCLA (16-1, 0-0) opens the 2022 MPSF slate at No. 1 Stanford (17-0, 0-0) on Saturday, Oct. 15 at 1:00 p.m. PT in the only game of the week for both teams. The game will be televised live on Pac-12 Los Angeles with Greg Mescall calling all of the exciting action. Live stats will also be available on the 6-8 Sports platform.

Saturday, Oct. 15 (MPSF Game - Avery Aquatic Center)
1:00 PM PT – No. 3 UCLA at No. 1 Stanford | LIVE STATS | WATCH

UCLA is 79-90 all-time in the series history against Stanford. The two teams met in the finals of the MPSF Invitational at Stanford on Sept. 25 and the Cardinal won the fourth quarter, 1-0, to post an 8-7 win at Avery Aquatic Center. Neither team led by more than one goal in the entire contest. The Bruins had seven players score in the game, all with one goal apiece. The UCLA goal scorers included super seniors Evan Rosenfeld and Jake Cavano, seniors Andy Rodgers and Tommy Gruwell, redshirt junior Jack Larsen, and redshirt sophomores Gianpiero Di Martire and Maximo Rossi. Senior Bernardo Maurizi got the start in the cage and went the distance, registering eight saves and one steal while allowing eight goals. Soren Jensen led Stanford with a hat trick while Nolan Krutonog had 13 saves while surrendering seven goals to UCLA.

UCLA went 1-0 last week, jumping out to a 4-0 lead and cruising to victory at home over No. 14 UC San Diego (9-10) on Saturday (Oct. 8). UCLA improved to 60-1 in the series history against the Tritons. The Bruins had 10 players score in the game, led by super senior Jake Cavano and senior Andy Rodgers, who each scored three goals for the Bruins. The dynamic duo both added one assist for a game-high four points. Three other Bruins scored three points in the game. Super senior Evan Rosenfeld (three assists), redshirt junior Jack Larsen (two goals, one assist), and sophomore Chase Dodd (two goals, one assist) each had three points for UCLA. Senior Bernardo Maurizi got the start in the cage and played the first quarter, registering one save while allowing one power play goal. Junior Garret Griggs played the final three quarters, tallying 10 saves while giving up five scores.

Junior attacker Makoto Kenney made a triumphant return to the Bruins' lineup after missing the last 11 games (has been unavailable since Sept. 10 due to an undisclosed illness). Kenney made his presence known, scoring the first goal of the game (1Q - 5:57) in UCLA's 17-6 home win over No. 14 UC San Diego on Saturday, Oct. 8. He also added two steals and one assist against the Tritons.

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 (Oct. 3). Maurizi totaled 24 saves and six steals to lead UCLA to wins over No. 4 Pacific (Sept. 30) and at No. 12 Pepperdine (Oct. 2). UCLA trailed 8-3 early in the third quarter before storming back to defeat the Tigers. Maurizi had 11 saves and a season-high three steals in a 12-11 win. His last save came with 10 seconds remaining in the game to preserve the one-goal victory. The Bruins then trailed by three in the first half at Pepperdine before rallying to win, as Maurizi had a season-high 13 saves and tied his career-high of three steals. This is Maurizi's second career MPSF Player of the Week award, both this year.

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.

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.

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 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.
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.

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 312-59 (.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.

UCLA slid one spot to No. 3 in last week's CWPA National Men's Varsity Top 20 Poll (92 points), released on Oct. 5.

 Rank  Team  Week 4 Poll  Points
 1  Stanford  1  99
 2  California  2 (T)  94
 3  UCLA  2 (T)  92
 4  Pacific  4  84
 5  USC  5  81
 6  Long Beach State  6  75
 7  UC Davis  7  71
 8  UC Santa Barbara  8  63
 9  UC Irvine  9  56
 10  Loyola Marymount  10  52
 11 (T)  Pepperdine  12  47
 11 (T)  Princeton  15  47
 13  Harvard  11  41
 14  UC San Diego  13  38
 15  San Jose State  14  33
 16  California Baptist University  16  22
 17  Santa Clara  17 (T)  17
 18  Fordham  17 (T)  16
 19  George Washington  19 (T)  13
 20  St. Francis College Brooklyn  19 (T)  7
 RV  Navy  RV  3
 RV  Brown  19 (T)  2
 RV  Air Force  RV  2
 RV  Pomona-Pitzer  RV  1
 RV  Bucknell  RV  1