April 19, 2013
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - The No. 4 UCLA women's water polo team suffered an 11-6 setback to No. 2 USC in the regular season finale for both teams on Friday night at Spieker Aquatics Center. Freshman Rachel Fattal led the Bruins with two goals.
With the loss, the Bruins dropped to 24-5 overall and 3-3 in the MPSF, while USC improved to 21-1 and 5-1 in league play.
The Trojans jumped out to a 2-0 lead, getting a power play goal at 5:05 from Hannah Buckling and a penalty goal from Anni Espar at the 4:21 mark. But the Bruins responded with a power play goal from Fattal at 3:55 and then tied it at 2-2 on a score at full strength from freshman Alexa Tielmann with 3:05 left in the first period. Dominique Sardo gave the Trojans a 3-2 lead (2:31) that would stand till the end of the first quarter.
The two teams battled to a 2-2 draw in the second period. Kaleigh Gilchrist scored a back-handed goal to start the second quarter (7:32) to put USC up 4-2. But senior Natasha Schulman pulled the Bruins to within one at 4-3 with a goal at the 3:11 mark. Olivia Cummins put the Trojans back up by two with 2:40 to go. UCLA freshman Alys Williams pulled the Bruins to within one goal at halftime at 5-4, with a power play goal with three seconds left in the second period.
The Trojans again extended their lead to two at 6-4 with a goal by Espar, her second of the game, with 5:12 left in the third period. Then Fattal scored her second exclusion goal (4:36) to make it 6-5. But a couple of mistakes by the Bruins led to a couple of counters by USC as the Trojans capitalized to build a 9-5 lead at the end of the third period with three unanswered goals.
The Trojans opened the fourth period with two more goals to make it 11-5 to stretch it to five unanswered scores. Sophomore Emily Donohoe scored for the Bruins with just one second remaining in the game to make the final 11-6.
Redshirt sophomore Sami Hill played the entire game in goal for UCLA and recorded eight saves. Flora Bolonyai was in goal for USC and played the entire contest, making eight saves.
The Bruins return to action next weekend when they travel to Berkeley, Calif., to face the hosts in the first round of the MPSF Tournament. California is the No. 5 seed and will face the fourth-seeded Bruins on April 26 at 2:30 p.m. at Spieker Aquatics Complex.
No. 2 USC at No. 4 UCLA
USC Goals: Anni Espar 3, Kaleigh Gilchrist 3, Monica Vavic 2, Olivia Cummins, Dominique Sardo, Hannah Buckling
USC Saves: Flora Bolonyai 8
UCLA Goals: Rachel Fattal 2, Alexa Tielmann
UCLA Saves: Sami Hill 8