The No. 1 UCLA rallied for a third win against No. 2 California, 13-9

 The No.  1 UCLA rallied for a third win against No.  2 California, 13-9

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THE ANGELS– The No. 1 UCLA (21-0, 5-0 MPSF West) completed a three-game regular season sweep of the two-time NCAA defending Champion, No. 2 California (17-4, 2-3 MPSF West), 13-9, on Saturday afternoon at Dirks Pool at the Spieker Aquatics Center. UCLA improves to 93-76-1 in the all-time series history against the Golden Bears. The Bruins also ran their winning streak to 21, which tied for the fourth-longest in school history (1971-72).

The Bruins had eight players score in the contest, led by hat tricks from the senior Rafael Real Vergara and freshman Ben Liechty. Redshirt freshman Ben Larsen and senior George Alexandria each added two points. Alessandria added three assists to finish as the game’s leading scorer with five points. Vergara increased his total score to 11 goals and six assists (17 points) in three wins against California this year.

Senior Garrett Griggs started in the cage and went the distance, tallying 13 saves while allowing nine goals.

California scored the first two goals of the game (6:55 and 6:26), but the Bruins would eventually win the first period, 4-3. Ben Larsen got the Bruins on the board with a power play goal (6:10) off a feed from the senior Makoto Kenney. After another Cal goal (4:40), Liechty scored his first of the game on a power play (4:16) off a feed from redshirt freshman Frederico Jucá Carsalade to cut the deficit to 3. -2. Sophomore Gray Carson get the equalizer from the front court (3:38). Freshman Marcell Szécsi put the Bruins in front (0:31) for the first time with a strong score from two meters from the feed from Alessandria.

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UCLA won the second quarter, 3-2, to take a 7-5 lead into the break. Jucá Carsalade opened the scoring in the second with a power play goal (6:08) off a pass from Jack Larsen to make it 5-3. California would score back-to-back goals (5:24 and 5:20). Real Vergara would score his first on a power play off an assist from the sophomore Noah Rowe (4:37) to put the Bruins back in front at 6-5. UCLA will tack on another goal when Ben Liechty scored his second of the game on a power play (2:18) off a feed from Alessandria to end the period’s scoring.

The Bruins and the Golden Bears battle to a 2-2 tie as UCLA takes a 9-7 lead heading into the final stanza. California scored first in the third quarter (5:47), but Real Vergara scored his second from the front court (4:03) with Jack Larsen get another assist to make it a two-goal game. Alessandria then took a feed from Real Vergara and found the back of the net for her first point to push the lead to 9-6 (2:17). California finished the scoring in the third (2:01) to cut the Bruins’ lead to 9-7.

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UCLA dominated the fourth quarter, 4-2, to give the 13-9 finals. Cal opened the scoring in the final stanza with a power play goal (6:06), but Ben Liechty answered with his third goal (5:33) on a power play to make it 10-8. Real Vergara then completed his hat trick (4:18) on a power play off a feed from Jucá Carsalade to extend the lead to 11-8. After a final goal from Cal (3:54) that made it 11-9 Bruins, Ben Larsen scored in his second game on a 6-on-5 and an assist from Alessandria. Then with the Bruins looking to stop the game and run out the clock, California pulled its goalie to try and force a steal and Alessandria only had one man beat in front of him to score (0:54) in an open goal from 10 meters from the end of the scoring.

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NEXT: The Bruins will host No. 9 UC Irvine on “Senior Day” on Friday, Nov. 3 at 5:00 pm at Dirks Pool at the Spieker Aquatics Center.

No. 2 California at No. 1 UCLA (MPSF Contest – Game 21)

SCOREBOARD 1 2 3 4 end
No. 2 California 3 2 2 2 9
No. 1 UCLA 4 3 2 4 13

6×5 – UCLA – 4/13 – CAL – 0/5
Penalties – UCLA – 0/0 – CAL – 0/0

CAL Objectives: Jake Howerton 4, Nikolaos Papanikolaou 1, Roberto Valera 1, Albert Ponferrada 1, Marton Szatmary 1, Jake Stone 1

CAL Storage: Will Kieckhafer 3, Kai Seed 1

UCLA Goals: Rafael Real Vergara 3, Ben Liechty 3, Ben Larsen 2, George Alexandria 2, Frederico Jucé Carsalade 1, Marcell Szécsi 1, Gray Carson 1

Stored at UCLA: Garrett Griggs 13