No. 1 UCLA Women's Water Polo Plays at No. 3 USC on Saturday

March 1, 2012

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No. 1 UCLA (12-1, 1-0 MPSF) at No. 3 USC (11-2, 1-0 MPSF)
Saturday, March 3 - 1 p.m.
at USC's McDonald's Swim Stadium

LOS ANGELES - The No. 1 UCLA women's water polo team returns to action at USC on Saturday. Game time is 1 p.m. at McDonald's Swim Stadium. The crosstown rivals have only met once this season, with UCLA recording an 8-7 win over the Women of Troy last Sunday in a semifinal match of the UCI Invitational.

UCLA Wins UCI Invitational Title
KK Clark scored a team-leading nine goals in four matches and Caitlin Dement finished the weekend with 39 saves to help UCLA win the UCI Invitational championship (Feb. 25-26). After cruising past Cal State Northridge (13-4) and Michigan (13-3) on Saturday, the Bruins recorded a pair of one-goal wins against USC (8-7) and Stanford (5-4) to win the title.

Bruins Stand Atop National Poll
UCLA has been named the new No. 1-ranked team this week, marking the first time that the Bruins have secured outright possession of the number one spot since May 2009, after winning that season's NCAA Championship. UCLA and USC shared the number one ranking for two weeks prior to the 2010 NCAA Tournament.

Schedule Shifts Toward MPSF Play
The Bruins have eight regular-season contests remaining on their schedule, and six of those games will count in the MPSF standings. After playing at USC this Saturday, the Bruins will host one MPSF match each of the next two Saturdays (vs. San Jose State, Arizona State). The only non-conference games left on UCLA's schedule include road contests at UC Irvine (April 14) and Loyola Marymount (April 15).

KK Among MPSF's Top Scorers
Senior KK Clark leads UCLA with 32 goals and ranks third among MPSF field players with a 2.46 goals per match average. The senior from Atherton, Calif., has scored in all 13 matches, netting two goals or more in 11 games. She has twice earned MPSF Player of the Week honors - after scoring 10 goals at the Michigan Invitational the weekend of Jan. 21-22.

Bruins Stingy on Defense
Backed by starting goalkeeper Caitlin Dement, UCLA has surrendered 4.92 goals per game, the second-lowest average among MPSF programs. The Bruins have limited their opposition to five goals or fewer in 10 of the team's 13 matches. UCLA has allowed a season-low three goals in three victories this year (twice at Stanford Invitational, once at UCI Invitational).

UCLA's Other Key Scorers
Sophomore Becca Dorst, junior Emily Greenwood and senior Sarah Orozco have each scored at least 11 goals midway through the season. Dorst ranks second on the team with 15 goals, having scored in seven straight games from Feb. 5 through Feb. 26. Greenwood ranks third with 12 goals while Orozco has tallied 11 goals.

Two Tournament Victories
The Bruins opened the 2012 season the weekend of Jan. 21-22 with three consecutive victories at the Michigan Invitational. Two weeks later, UCLA returned to action at the Stanford Invitational, where the Bruins finished second to tournament host Stanford. Most recently, UCLA won the UCI Invitational the weekend of Feb. 25-26.

Brooks on Deck for Year Three
Third-year head coach Brandon Brooks has compiled a 60-16 record as UCLA's head coach. He played goalkeeper for the UCLA men's water polo team from 1999-2002. Brooks helped UCLA capture the 1999 and 2000 NCAA titles. He also played for the USA National Team in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, leading Team USA to a silver medal in 2008 in Beijing.

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