Oct. 3, 2006
Los Alamitos, Calif. - Former UCLA women's water polo All-Americans Natalie Golda and Nicolle Payne will be the first women ever inducted into the New York Athletic Club Hall of Fame, the NYAC announced this week. Golda and Payne will accompany Olympic medalist Heather Moody as the three inductees that will be honored in New York City the week of Feb. 12, 2007.
Golda competed for the Bruins from 2001-2003 and in 2005 after redshirting the 2004 season to play in the Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. As a summer Olympian, she scored two goals to help Team USA capture the bronze medal.
A native of Fullerton, Calif., Golda led UCLA to its seventh national championship as a senior in 2005. That year she earned the Cutino Award, given to the best player in women's collegiate water polo. Having totaled 47 goals as a senior, her 158 career goals currently rank third-most in school history. UCLA won three national titles during her four years with the program.
Golda joined the NYAC in 2003 and is the youngest of the three honorees to be inducted. She is currently competing on the USA Women's National Team that is preparing for the 2007 FINA World Championships in Melbourne, Australia.
Payne most recently served as an assistant coach for the UCLA women's water polo team (2001, 2002 and 2005 seasons). She competed for the Bruins from 1995-1998, leading UCLA to three national titles and earning All-America accolades all four seasons.
Payne represented the United States at the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games. In 2000, she helped bring home the silver medal. As a goalkeeper for Team USA, she appeared in all seven games and recorded 19 saves. In 2004, Payne helped U.S. squad win the bronze.