April 17, 2010
LOS ANGELES - The No. 4 UCLA women's water polo team (17-7, 4-3 MPSF) closed out the 2010 regular season, dropping a 14-5 decision at No. 1 USC (19-1, 5-0 MPSF) on Saturday (April 17) at McDonald's Swim Stadium.
A nine-goal scoring surge gave the Trojans all they needed. USC seniors Kami Craig, Alexandra Kiss and Kally Lucas combined for eight goals on the day, while Trojan goalie Tumua Anae turned away 14 Bruin shots in the win.
The Trojans and the Bruins played to a 2-2 tie after the first quarter. Kristen Dronberger scored the first and last goals of the first period for USC (6:40 and 0:56), while UCLA managed back-to-back strikes in the frame. After Dronberger got the scoring started, Bruin freshman Emily Greenwood tied the match at 1-1 with 3:55 left in the first. Then junior Kelly Easterday gave UCLA its only lead of the day at 2-1 on a 6-on-5 score. Dronberger would equalize before the close of the period, and the Trojans regrouped and made their winning surge in the second period, scoring seven goals while holding the Bruins scoreless.
In the second period, Patricia Jancso went big for a pair of goals in the scoring run, while Kally Lucas connected on back-to-back 6-on-5 scores. Kami Craig, Alexandra Kiss and Joelle Bekhazi would all get in on the scoring frenzy for the Trojans, as USC took a 9-2 lead at halftime.
Craig opened things with a blast out of set to put the Trojans up 10-2 with 6:59 left in the third quarter. USC misfired on a 6-on-5 chance later, but made good on the next one as Dronberger hit Nadia Dan for the score that lifted USC up 11-2 with 4:19 to go in the third. UCLA snapped USC's scoring streak at nine with a 6-on-5 score of its own from junior Priscilla Orozco with 3:03 left and junior Grace Reynolds sent in a skipshot to make it 11-4 USC entering the fourth period.
USC had another scoring surge with three straight goals in the fourth quarter. Kiss scored an exclusion goal with 5:13 left in the fourth and then set up Craig (3:44) for another power play strike from two-meters as USC went ahead 13-4. Kiss would make it 14-4 (2:57) with a shot at the top corner of the cage. UCLA's final goal came on an uncommon opportunity in which Bruin goalie Caitlin Dement caught Anae coming out of the cage in order to cut off the UCLA counterattack. Rather than feed into the offense, Dement sailed the ball into the opposite cage for the score with 1:57 left in the fourth period, ending the scoring for the match at 14-5.
Dement finished with eight saves in the cage and the Bruins lost all four sprints.
UCLA returns to action as the hosts of the MPSF Women's Water Polo Tournament, starting on April 30, 2010 at UCLA's Spieker Aquatics Center.
No. 4 UCLA at No. 1 USC (MPSF Match)
USC Goals: Kami Craig 3, Alexandra Kiss 3, Kristen Dronberger 2, Patricia Jancso 2, Kally Lucas 2, Joelle Bekhazi, Nadia Dan
USC Saves: Tumua Anae 14