May 10, 2008
Stanford, Calif. - A six-goal outburst in the third quarter turned a 3-2 UCLA halftime lead into a 9-3 advantage, and the Bruins dispatched UC Davis in the NCAA semifinals at Stanford University, 11-4, securing their fourth consecutive and seventh overall NCAA Championship game berth. Tanya Gandy scored three straight goals to start the second half, Courtney Mathewson added two, and Katie Rulon one in the decisive period.
The first half was a defensive one, with each team scoring just one goal. UC Davis struck first - with 5:55 on the clock in the first quarter, Aggie senior Laura Uribe scored on a power play. The Bruins missed their first five attempts and then finally converted with 17 seconds left in the quarter on a power play goal by Mathewson to tie the game at 1-1.
The Bruins had a golden chance to take the lead for the first time when they earned a 6-on-3 opportunity early in the second quarter, but the Bruins' shot at 6:44 was blocked. UCLA converted on its next chance, however, with Anne Belden giving the Bruins their first lead on a fast break opportunity with 6:09 on the clock. Belden increased UCLA's lead to 3-1 three minutes later, scoring at 3:20, but the Aggies crept close in the final minute, scoring with 28 seconds left in the half on a power play goal by Mary Lowe.
Clinging to a 3-2 halftime lead, UCLA came out swinging early in the third quarter. Just 40 seconds into the period, Gandy scored on a skip shot, and she repeated her success with another skip shot goal with 5:15 left in the quarter to increase UCLA's lead to 5-2. Gandy made it three in a row a minute later, lofting a shot past Aggie goalkeeper Casey Hines into the right corner of the net. Lindsay Kiyama scored on UC Davis' third power play goal with 3:56 on the clock, but Mathewson answered less than a minute later with a power play goal of her own to make it 7-3 UCLA, and she scored her third of the game with 27 seconds remaining in the quarter. Rulon added a goal with two seconds left to up the Bruin lead to 9-3.
With momentum on their side, Gabrielle Domanic put UCLA ahead in the fourth quarter, scoring with 6:12 left in the contest. A power play goal by Emily Kitchens with 1:17 left in the game provided the Aggies' final score, and the Bruins' Kelsey McGinley added a goal of her own with 46 seconds remaining.
Bruin goalkeeper Brittany Fullen increased her school single-season record total to 231 by tallying six saves. Hines recorded 10 saves for UC Davis, and Diana Pivacek added one.
"I have to give Davis a lot of credit," said Krikorian. "They played us so tough in the first half and had us a little anxious. I think it was the best thing for us. They played with intelligence and played tough. They got off to a good start and carried momentum before running out of gas. We settled down in the third quarter and played up to the level we're capable of."
The 32-0 Bruins, who improved to 7-0 in NCAA semifinal games, will face USC on Sunday at 6 p.m. in the NCAA Championship game. UCLA is aiming for its fourth consecutive and sixth overall NCAA title.
No. 1 seed UCLA vs. No. 5 seed UC Davis
UC Davis Goals: Laura Uribe, Mary Lowe, Lindsay Kimaya, Emily Kitchens
UC Davis Saves: Casey Hines 10, Diana Pivacek 1