LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- Second-seeded UCLA fell to top-seeded Stanford, 9-5, in the NCAA Championship game on Sunday evening at USC's Uytensu Aquatics Center. The Bruins ended the season with a 27-5 overall record while the Cardinal finished 25-1.
UCLA was led by five players with one goal each while Stanford was led by a hat trick from senior Annika Dries.
Ashley Grossman scored first for the Cardinal at 5:15 with a cross-cage strike to make it 1-0. Redshirt junior Sami Hill made a huge stop on a Maggie Steffens' penalty shot at 4:35 in the first to keep it 1-0. Then senior Kelly Ronimus used an off-speed shot to tie the game at 1-1 at the 3:01 mark. Ronimus then picked up an assist as sophomore Alexa Tielmann took her feed at set and fired one past Stanford keeper Gabby Stone (1:28) to give the Bruins a 2-1 lead at the end of the first period.
Sophomore India Forster then gave the Bruins a 3-1 lead with an amazing sweeping shot to open the scoring in the second period (7:06). Stanford's Kaley Dodson pulled the Cardinal to with one at 3-2 with a power play goal (5:07). But UCLA's stellar freshman, Mackenzie Barr, had an immediate response with a bar-in goal to make it 4-2 with 4:46 to go. Ronimus picked up another assist when she set up sophomore Kodi Hill, who scored from the front court to push the lead to 5-2 (:19). Stanford drew a 6-on-5 opportunity with time running out and Anna Yelizarova scored a power play goal at the buzzer to cut the UCLA lead to 5-3 at the break.
Stanford scored the first goal of the third period from set as Dries found the back of the net with a backhanded shot to make it 5-4 with 4:52 remaining. The Bruins couldn't help their cause, going 0-for-5 on power plays, including 0-for-3 in the third quarter alone. The Cardinal tied it 5-5 on a power play score with :02 remaining when Steffens set up Grossman for her second score of the contest.
In the fourth quarter, Dries broke through the defensive battle with her second score to give Stanford its first lead since 1-0 at 6-5 with 4:51 to go. Then Dodson scored her second of the game after a UCLA turnnover to push the lead to 7-5 with 4:25 left. Steffens then got into the scoring act with a near post skipper to give Stanford an 8-5 lead with 3:28 to go. Dries then capped a hat trick with a counter attack score with :48 to go to provide the final score, 9-5.
The NCAA title game was very similar to the MPSF title game in which UCLA built a 5-3 lead at halftime, only to see Stanford hold the Bruins scoreless as they raced to a 6-5 championship victory.
Sami Hill ended with 12 saves in the cage for the Bruins. Stone was credited with three stops in goal for the Cardinal.
Sunday's Championship Boxscore
No. 1 Stanford 9, No. 2 UCLA 5
UCLA (2, 3, 0, 0 — 5)
Stanford (1, 2, 2, 4 — 9)
Goals: UCLA (Barr, K. Hill, Forster, Ronimus, Tielmann); Stanford (Dries 3, Dodson 2, Grossman 2, Steffens, Yelizarova)
Saves UCLA (S. Hill-12); Stanford (Stone-3)