April 30, 2006
Irvine, Calif. - The second-ranked UCLA women's water polo team defeated the top-ranked USC Trojans, 10-7 in the third place match of the MPSF Tournament at UC Irvine. The Bruins' record climbs to 26-4, 11-1 in the MPSF conference. This is UCLA's first victory over USC on the season.
In the championship game, Stanford defeated Hawaii, 6-3. California beat Arizona State, 7-6, to take 5th place. San Diego State beat UC Irvine, 5-4 for 7th place in the conference tournament.
USC took an early two goal lead in the game, but UCLA made it 2-1 on a 6-on-5 score by Thalia Munro, her first of two goals in the game. UCLA Emily Feher stopped a 4-meter penalty shot attempt by Brittany Hayes with a tip that pushed the ball off the crossbar. UCLA's offense came to life in the second, with three scores to tie it up at halftime. The Bruins came back and tied the match by half time at 4-4.
UCLA outscored USC 4-1 in the third quarter after two goals from Molly Cahill and two successful 6-on-5 opportunities by the Bruins. In the final period, Cardenas put away her third goal of the game with a 4-meter penalty shot that made it 8-6, but back-to-back goals from UCLA built a 10-6 lead for the Bruins with 1:45 left to play. USC added another goal and finished the game with a 10-7 victory.
UCLA now awaits an at large bid in the upcoming NCAA Tournament. The selections for the eight-team tournament at UC Davis will be made on May 1.
UCLA vs. USC
UCLA Goals: Thalia Munro 2, Kelly Rulon 2, Molly Cahill 2, Kacy Kunkel, Tanya Gandy, Courtney Mathewson, Brittany Rowe
UCLA Saves: Emily Feher 7
USC Goals: Patty Cardenas 3, Moriah Van Norman 2, Anna Pardo, Lauren Wenger.
USC Saves: Whitney Morgan 6