Waves Drop Hard-Fought Overtime Loss to UCLA in MPSF Tournament
Waves fell 5-4 to host UCLA.
Nov. 25, 2011
LOS ANGELES - The No. 6-seeded Waves played the No. 3-seeded UCLA Bruins close through regulation and two overtime periods, but a goal by the Bruins with 10 seconds left in the second overtime period beat the Waves 5-4 in a first-round MPSF Tournament match on Friday afternoon at the Bruins' Spieker Aquatics Center. The Waves were led by a strong defensive effort in the cage by sophomore goalkeeper Bence Valics, who finished with 15 saves.
On the game, head coach Jack Kocur said, "I couldn't be any prouder of the guys today. We spent three weeks preparing for this type of event and the sacrifices every one of them made, they really came together. We are where we are supposed to be right now. We had our opportunities and so did they. This was one of the best defensive games we have ever played. I could almost take it back to only two games I have coached of this caliber. I am so proud of Bence, what an amazing game. All the players played together with composure. There was no individualism out there at all. We are not done and if we play like that and continue to roll, we can play with the best of them."
In the first quarter the Bruins took a 1-0 lead as Josh Samuels put away a penalty shot with 5:10 remaining in the period. The Waves would roar back with a 6-on-5 goal by junior James Perry (Orinda, Calif./Miramonte HS) at the 4:54 mark to tie the game and then senior Brandon Picone (Morgan Hill, Calif./Valley Christian HS/West Valley Community College) would give the Waves the 2-1 lead with 28 seconds remaining.
The Waves would take the 2-1 lead into the second quarter, where they would see it grow to 3-1 off a goal by junior Matthew DeTrane (Moraga, Calif./Campolindo HS/Diablo Valley HS). With six minutes remaining in the quarter the Bruins would bring it within one off a goal by Griffin White, 3-2. Valics (Eger, Hungary/Szilagyi Erzsebet Secondary) would make three big blocks to finish out the quarter and the 3-2 score would hold up into the half.
Valics would come up big at the beginning of the third quarter as he blocked a Bruin penalty shot to preserve the Waves' lead. At the 5:16 mark in the quarter on a 6-on-5 situation the Bruins would even the score at 3-3. Junior Danny White (Oxnard, Calif./Rio Mesa HS) would give the lead back to the Waves at the 1:56 mark, 4-3. Through the final two minutes of the period neither squad could capitalize on their chances and the Waves would take the lead into the final quarter.
With 5:19 left in regulation the Bruins would tie things up at 4-4. Through the final few minutes of the quarter both teams failed to capitalize on numerous offensive possessions. And the Waves and Bruins headed to overtime with the score deadlocked at 4-4.
The first overtime period was quiet, as neither the Waves nor the Bruins could find the back of the net. The Waves had an excellent opportunity with a five-meter penalty shot from White with 1:21 to go, but Bruin goalkeeper Matt Rapacz was able to make the stop.
In the second overtime period DeTrane had a shot sail over the cage and both teams continued to play staunch defense. The Bruins gained possession with 26 seconds to play in the period and called a timeout. With the clock ticking, Cullen Hennessy received a pass from Reynolds two -meters from the cage and slammed what would prove to be the game-winner as the Waves were unable to score an equalizer.
The Waves converted on 3-of-7 power-play opportunities in the 5-4 loss. Picone, Perry, DeTrane and White led the way with four shots apiece.
With the 5-4 lead the Bruins advance to the semifinals on Saturday against No. 2-seeded California, while the Waves will continue to fight for fifth place in the tournament as they take on No. 7-seeded UC Irvine at 11:30 a.m. at Spieker Aquatics Center.
UCLA 5, Pepperdine 4 (OT)
SAVES: Bence Valics, PEP (15), Matt Rapacz, UCLA (11)