Saturday night at Anteater Aquatics Center equaled a loss for the UC Irvine Men’s Water Polo team against UCLA. The final score was 6-4 with UCLA successfully defending its spot as fourth in the nation against our fifth-ranked Anteaters.
The win for UCLA, however, was not easily achieved. In the first quarter, UCLA senior two-meter man Ted Peck scored the first goal of the game, which was soon countered by UCI’s own junior driver, Dreason Barry.
The second quarter was UCI’s finest that night, giving the team a chance to showcase some of its stronger players.
Senior driver Rick Merlo would break the 1-1 tie at the beginning of the second quarter, followed by another goal for the Anteaters by senior two-meter/driver Dan Noon.
Barry would score his second goal of the game in the second quarter, making him the highest-scoring player in Saturday night’s game.
UCI junior goalie Joe Wynne performed best during the second period as well, making some amazing blocks for UCI.
In total, Wynne made six saves during the game.
In the third quarter of the game, UCLA tried to respond to UCI’s fierce offense.
UCLA senior driver Brett Ormsby blew through the defensive to score a goal against UCI in the third quarter, regaining UCLA’s tie with the Anteaters, 4-4, by the end of the quarter.
The game was tied going into the fourth quarter. UCLA was performing with heightened intensity, but UCI had shown itself to be strong contenders in the first two quarters.
UCLA took action and scored another two goals against the Anteaters, aggressively blocking UCI’s offensive to end the game with a 6-4 win in favor of the Bruins.
A fact about the performance by both teams that night was that many of the night’s goals were due in large part to the extra-man goals scored both by UCI and UCLA.
Barry scored two extra-man goals for UCI and five out of the six goals made by UCLA were extra-man goals.
When asked about UCI’s abrupt losing streak in the second half, Head Coach Ted Newland cited driving as the Anteater’s weakness, an opinion shared by many of the players.
‘I just thought in the last half we weren’t driving through enough