May 12, 2002
Los Angeles - In the NCAA Championship game, held at USC's McDonald's Swim Stadium, the Bruins lost a hard fought battle to the Stanford Cardinal. Stanford came away with the 8-4 win and its first-ever women's water polo title. The Bruins, who won back-to-back national titles, including last year's inaugural NCAA title, end the season with a record of 22-4 overall, 10-1 MPSF.
The Bruins' leading scorer was sophomore Natalie Golda, netting a game high three goals. Golda scored UCLA's first two goals, with 5:57 to go in the second quarter and at the 2:14 mark in the third period. She completed the hat-trick on a penalty shot in the fourth. Senior Kelly Heuchan, playing in her final game as a Bruin, also netted a goal. Stanford got off to a quick start, with goals by Wendy Watkins, Ellen Estes and Julie Gardner. Brenda Villa notched another goal for Stanford, giving them a 4-1 lead at the half.
Golda kicked things off for the Bruins in the third quarter, netting her second goal of the game and bringing UCLA within two of Stanford. With more than a minute to go in the quarter, junior Robin Beauregard's shot off the crossbar barely missed the goal line. The Cardinal converted on the play, with freshman Kelty Luber scoring on the opposite side, putting Stanford ahead 5-2. In the fourth quarter, the Cardinal netted three goals, sealing the 8-4 victory and clinching the NCAA title.
"Obviously, this is disappointing," said Coach Adam Krikorian. "I'm proud of our girls. After being down 3-0, they never gave up. They continued to play hard and with high intensity. Hats off to Stanford, they did a great job."
At the conclusion of the tournament, six Bruins were named to the All-Tournament Team. Bruins earning first team honors are Heuchan, Golda, Beauregard and freshman Amber Stachowski. Thalia Munro and Jaime Hipp received second-team honors.
NCAA Championship Game - UCLA vs. Stanford
1 2 3 4 Final UCLA 0 1 1 2 4 Stanford 3 1 1 3 8
Scorers: UCLA - Golda 3, Heuchan; Stanford - Ellen Estes 2, Julie Gardner 2, Brenda Villa, Jeanine Jackson, Kelty Luber, Wendy Watkins
Saves: UCLA - Jaime Hipp 4; Stanford - Jackie Frank 12
NCAA ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
Jackie Frank, Stanford MVP
Kelly Heuchan , UCLA
Ellen Estes, Stanford
Robin Beauregard, UCLA
Brenda Villa, Stanford
Lucy Windes, Loyola Marymount
Natalie Golda, UCLA
Amber Stachowski, UCLA
Betsey Armstrong, Michigan
Thalia Munro, UCLA
Julie Gardner, Stanford
Teresa Guidi, Loyola Marymount
Wendy Watkins, Stanford
Jaime Hipp, UCLA
Jen Crisman, Michigan
Margie Dingeldein, Stanford