May 1, 2011
SAN JOSE, Calif. - The No. 4-seed UCLA women's water polo team made a furious rally in the fourth period, but fell to No. 2-seed California, 7-6, in the championship match of the MPSF Tournament at San Jose State's Aquatics Center on Sunday afternoon.
Senior Noel Umphrey led the Bruins (24-6) with two goals, scoring both of them in the final period. UCLA also received one goal each from seniors Kelly Easterday and Priscilla Orozco, junior Sarah Orozco and sophomore Brooke Martin. California (22-4) was led by Ashley Young and Elizabeth McLaren, who each scored two goals for the Golden Bears.
California scored the first three goals of the championship game. Martin got the Bruins on the board with a power play goal with 3:43 left in the second period. UCLA trimmed the lead to one when Easterday scored with 1:55 left in the second. But California answered to take a 4-2 lead at the break on a goal by Remmington Price.
Priscilla Orozco scored first for the Bruins in the third period on a 6-on-5 opportunity with 4:04 remaining to cut the lead to 4-3. The Golden Bears scored the last two goals of the quarter to take a 6-3 lead into the fourth quarter.
The Bruins cut it to 6-4 on a goal by Umphrey with 4:38 to go and then made it 6-5 when Sarah Orozco scored with 2:47 left. California pushed the lead to two with 2:18 to go. Umphrey scored her second goal of the game to end the scoring at 7-6 California with 41 seconds left.
UCLA goalkeeper Caitlin Dement had three saves in the first half while Bruin goalie Sami Hill recorded five saves in the second half. Stephanie Peckham was credited with four saves in the cage for California.
The Bruins await their postseason fate on Monday, as the NCAA will reveal the eight-team NCAA Tournament bracket online at ncaa.com at 4 p.m. (PT).
No. 4-seed UCLA vs. No. 2-seed California (MPSF Tournament, Championship)
California Goals: Elizabeth McLaren 2, Ashley Young 2, Emily Csikos, Kelly Mendoza, Remmington Price
California Saves: Stephanie Peckham 4
Exclusions: UCLA 6, California 5