No. 2 UCLA Heads to No. 12 UC Irvine For MPSF Opener

Feb. 10, 2003

The Bruin women's water polo team started the 2003 season with a 3-1 record at the Stanford Invitational, including victories over No. 3 USC and No. 10 Hawaii. The Bruins will open up MPSF conference play on Wednesday, February 12th at UC Irvine.

Stanford Invitational, February 8-9

At the 3rd annual Stanford Invitational, the Bruins began the 2003 season in dominating fashion, sweeping their first three opponents to advance to the championship game.

The Bruins defeated No. 10 Hawaii in their season opener 7-3 on Saturday. Junior Natalie Golda led all Bruin scorers with three goals and in her first collegiate game freshman Kristina Kunkel had two goals.

In their second game of the day the Bruins went up against cross-town rival and No. 3 USC. UCLA would get the 8-4 win for their seventh consecutive victory over the Women of Troy. The Bruins would again get significant contributions from their freshman with Kelly Rulon leading the Bruins with three goals.

On Sunday the Bruins crushed UC Santa Cruz 19-0 to advance to the Championship game. Freshman Katherine Belden recorded her first collegiate hat trick for the Bruins and in her first collegiate game freshman goalkeeper Tahlia Kerr recorded her first career shutout.

The championship game of the tournament was a rematch of the 2002 NCAA Championship game. The Bruins lost 4-3 in a hard fought game that was not decided until the final possession. Senior Maureen Flanagan led the Bruin scoring effort with two goals and Jaime Hipp finished with ten saves.

The Bruins' leading scorer in the tournament was freshman Kelly Rulon who finished with five goals. Overall, of the thirty-seven goals scored by the Bruins, sixteen of them were scored by freshman.

Up Next: No. 12 UC Irvine, February 12

UCLA opens its 2003 MPSF season at No. 12 UC Irvine on Wednesday at 4:00 PM. The Bruins have an all time record of 5-0 against Irvine and in the teams last meeting on February 7, 2002 the Bruins defeated the Anteaters 16-4.

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