May 1, 2010
Los Angeles, Calif. - The No. 5 seed UCLA women's water polo team (19-7) held No. 1 Stanford to just three goals in the final three periods to pull off a 7-6 upset in the first semifinal match of the 2010 MPSF Women's Water Polo Championship at Spieker Aquatics Center on the campus of UCLA on Saturday (May 1) afternoon.
"The win today was fantastic for our program," UCLA Head Coach Brandon Brooks said. "As the season has progressed, we have gone back to the fundamentals and focused on the little things. It has helped us a lot and helped us to believe in ourselves."
The Bruins drew first blood when Grace Reynolds put a skipper past Amber Oland with 6:34 left in the first period, her 35th goal of the season. Melissa Seidemann tied it fore Stanford at 1-1 at the 6:13 mark, her 44th of the year. Alex Koran (10th of the year) gave the Cardinal their first lead at 2-1 with 5:30 left in the first period. The Bruins got an equalizing goal from Megan Burmeister, her 15th on the season to tie it at 2-2 with 4:25 to go in the opening stanza. Seidemann scored her second of the day to give Stanford a 3-2 lead with 4:00 minutes left to end the scoring for the first period.
UCLA again scored first in the second period, tying the score at 3-3 when Sarah Orozco put her 20th of the season in the back of the net with 5:40 left in the second period. Stanford reclaimed the lead at 4-3 when Pallavi Menon scored her 32nd of the year with 5:07 left in the period. It was the final goal of the half as Stanford took a 4-3 lead into halftime. Both goalies, Caitlin Dement for UCLA and Oland picked up four saves in the second period.
Kelsey Holshouser scored her first goal of the Tournament, giving Stanford a 5-3 lead at 7:33 of the third period. Her 21st goal of the year just crossed the line near the right post as Dement got a hand on it. Priscilla Orozco scored her 34th of the year to keep the Bruins in it, trimming Stanford's lead to 5-4 with 4:52 left in the third period. Kelly Easterday tied the match at 5-5 for UCLA with her 22nd of the season at the 4:07 mark. The Bruins then scored their third straight goal to take a 6-5 lead on an exclusion goal by KK Clark (21st on the year) with 1:53 to go in the third quarter. Dement got a huge save on Stanford's last possession, a 6-on-5 opportunity, to preserve the Bruins' 6-5 lead at the end of three quarters.
Emily Greenwood scored her 15th goal of the year, a skipper past Oland, that gave the Bruins a two-goal advantage with 3:41 remaining in the match. Jessica Steffens trimmed the lead to 7-6 at the 2:57 mark on a breakaway shot that she lobbed over Dement. UCLA's Emily Greenwood picked up a huge steal on a 6-on-5 opportunity for Stanford with 1:40 remaining in the match to help preserve the win. The Bruins defense turned Stanford away again, this time on the Cardinal's final possession as Reynolds deflected a pass to center and UCLA ran out the final 14 seconds for the 7-6 win.
Dement finished the match with 11 saves in the cage for UCLA while Oland picked up nine stops for Stanford. KK Clark won three of the four sprints for the Bruins.
"Today felt really good as we put it all together and played well as an entire team," UCLA goalkeeper Caitlin Dement said. "We played really good on offense and were very solid on defense and were always aware of what was going on. It was a great win, but it was just one win, and we can't dwell on it too long because we still have some huge matches coming up for us."
No. 5 UCLA advances to the Championship match where they will face the winner of No. 2 USC vs. No. 3 California on Sunday at 3:00 p.m.
No. 1 Stanford will face the loser of the USC/California match in the 3rd-place match at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday.
No. 5 UCLA vs. No. 1 Stanford (MPSF Semifinal Match)
Stanford Goals: Melissa Seidemann 2, Alex Koran, Pallavi Menon,
Kelsey Holshouser, Jessica Steffens
Stanford Saves: Amber Oland 9