May 11, 2003
La Jolla, CA - The UCLA women's water polo team defeated Stanford University 4-3 this afternoon to win its second NCAA championship and sixth national title. The Bruins entered the second half trailing 0-2, but stormed back with four straight goals to take home the title with a 4-3 victory. The Bruins finish the season 23-4 overall.
A 6 on 5 goal by Stanford accounted for all of the scoring in the first period, as the Bruins were held scoreless and trailed 0-1 at the end of one. Though senior goalie Jaime Hipp recorded three saves in the second period, another Stanford goal put the Bruins down 0-2. For the second period in a row UCLA was again unable to score and trailed 0-2 at half. Freshman Kelly Rulon got the Bruins within one, with her first goal of the game early in the third period. A 6 on 5 goal from senior Jessica Lopez knotted it at 2-2 with just under a minute remaining in the third period. After three periods of play the scored remained tied at 2-2.
A 6 on 5 goal from Lauren Heineck put UCLA up 3-2 in the fourth. Senior Robin Beauregard scored to put UCLA up 4-2 with 2:50 left in the final period. Stanford was able to convert on a UCLA turnover to get within one at 4-3. UCLA then stopped a 6 on 5 opportunity in the final minute of the period and was able to hold Stanford scoreless on its final possession to win its second NCAA crown in the three-year history of the championship and its sixth national title.
Six Bruins were named to the All-Tournament Team. Senior Jaime Hipp, freshman Kelly Rulon and senior Maureen Flanagan were named to the Second Team. Junior Natalie Golda and senior Jessica Lopez were named to the first team, while senior Robin Beauregard was named the NCAA tournament's Most Outstanding Player.
UCLA has now won three NCAA championships this year -- men's soccer, women's gymnastics and women's water polo -- and a national-high 89 NCAA titles in its history.
UCLA vs. Stanford - 5/11/03
Saves: UCLA - Jaime Hipp 6; Stanford - Jackie Frank 7