April 17, 2008
LOS ANGELES - The No. 1 UCLA women's water polo team lost a 6-5 decision to the United States women's national team in an exhibition game Thursday afternoon at Sunset Canyon Recreation Center. Senior Courtney Mathewson and junior Tanya Gandy each scored two goals for the host Bruins (27-0).
Former UCLA standout Natalie Golda and Brenda Villa each tallied two goals to lead the United States. The national team also received one goal each from Lauren Wenger and Kami Craig.
The U.S. national team led from the start, as Golda found the back of the cage with a strike just 40 seconds into the match. Villa converted a penalty shot with 6:42 to play in the first quarter, before Gandy cut the national team's lead in half, scoring with four minutes left in the frame.
The U.S. team led 3-1 at the end of the first quarter, as Craig netted her one goal of the afternoon at the 1:56 mark. UCLA trimmed the deficit to 3-2 by halftime on Mathewson's first goal, coming at 4:38 in the second quarter.
Wenger's goal with 7:07 to play in the third quarter handed the United States a 4-2 lead, but Gandy responded with a 6-on-5 goal at 1:57 in the period, narrowing the gap to 4-3.
The national team added two goals midway through the fourth quarter to pull ahead, 6-3. Late 6-on-5 goals from Mathewson (2:54) and junior Katie Rulon (1:54) cut the United States' lead to 6-5. The Bruins received the ball back with 15 seconds to play, but failed to convert as Mathewson's final attempt sailed wide of the cage.
UCLA enters the 2008 MPSF Tournament on April 24-27 as the No. 1 overall seed. Game dates, opponents and times are to be determined, as several MPSF teams conclude regular-season competition this weekend.
U.S. National Team at UCLA
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