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SPORTS BRIEF: Men’s water polo ends season with overtime loss to No. 2 UCLA

The No. 3 Stanford men’s water polo team saw its season come to an end when it fell to No. 2 UCLA 10-9 in sudden-death overtime of the MPSF Championship Third-Place Game on Friday.

Sophomore Alex Bowen and the No. 3 Stanford men’s water polo team fell to No. 2 UCLA 10-9 in sudden-death overtime at the MPSF Championship Third-Place Game. The Cardinal took a 9-8 lead late in the second overtime period, but the Bruins equalized to send the game into sudden death. (LARRY GE/The Stanford Daily)

Despite trailing the Bruins 7-5 late in the game, the Cardinal stormed back to tie the game at seven apiece when sophomore Nick Hoversten found the back of the net with 41 seconds left in regulation.

UCLA struck early in the overtime period, but Stanford answered emphatically with back-to-back scores from redshirt seniors Travis Noll and Andrew LaForge, giving the team a 10-9 lead. The Cardinal was on the verge of avenging its loss to the Bruins three weeks ago, but UCLA equalized to send the game into sudden death.

Junior goalie Scott Plashton denied the first shot, but sophomore attacker Daniel Lenhart capitalized off a 20-second penalty with 1:27 left in the sudden-death period to propel UCLA to the victory. Plashton stood tall for much of the game, making 13 saves despite allowing seven to go past him.

Having won seven of its last eight games prior to the MPSF Championship, all three of the Cardinal’s matches in the weekend tournament were closely contested. Stanford defeated Long Beach State 14-13 in a double-overtime thriller before barely falling to No. 1 USC on Saturday in a heartbreaking 11-10 loss.

The Cardinal finished the season 16-7 overall with five of its losses coming against powerhouses USC and UCLA.

About George Chen

George Chen is a senior staff writer at The Stanford Daily who writes football, football and more football. Previously he worked at The Daily as the President and Editor in Chief, Executive Editor, Managing Editor of Sports, the football beat reporter and a sports desk editor. George also co-authored The Daily's recent book documenting the rise of Stanford football, "Rags to Roses." He is a senior from Painted Post, NY majoring in Biology. To contact him, please email at gchen15@stanford.edu.