May 14, 2010
SAN DIEGO - The No. 3 seed UCLA Bruins women's water polo team (20-8) led 3-2 after the first period, but fell 5-4 to sixth-seeded Loyola Marymount (28-4) in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championship at the Aztec Aquaplex in San Diego on Friday afternoon (May 14).
"Obviously, I'm very disappointed in the outcome, UCLA Head Coach Brandon Brooks said. I don't think we executed well today and I think at times we showed mistakes characteristic of youth and we looked a little nervous. I'm still very proud of the season we have had and proud of the girls I coach, and I'm proud to be a Bruin."
The Bruins got on the board first when Grace Reynolds scored her 38th goal of the year at the 7:25 mark in the first period. Anne Scott scored an equalizing goal with 4:08 remaining in the opening stanza to tie it at 1-1. Kelsey McGinley scored just her 6th goal of the season to put the Bruins back up 2-1 with 2:17 left in the first. But Scott scored again for the Lions at 1:58 left to tie it at 2-2. KK Clark notched her 24th goal of the season to give UCLA a 3-2 lead at the end of the first period (scored with 11 seconds left). Bruin goalie Caitlin Dement had one save in the first period, as did LMU goalkeeper, Kristine Cato.
The second period was controlled by LMU as the Lions scored twice while holding the Bruins scoreless. LMU tied it at 3-3 when Daisy Carrillo scored on a penalty shot with 3:00 minutes left in the second quarter. The Lions took their first lead of the match on a 6-on-5 exclusion goal by Mary Ann Campos to go ahead 4-3, a lead they would hold at halftime. Cato had five stops in the first half (including two point-blank stops) while Dement ended the first half with two saves.
LMU scored its third-straight goal with 3:09 left in the third period to take a 5-3 lead when Erin Manke scored her 31st goal of the year. Cato picked up four more stops in the third period to keep the Bruins off the scoreboard for the second consecutive quarter.
UCLA struggled for most of the match on power play opportunities, failing to convert on their first six advantages. But Cato had a lot to do with that, picking up three stops from point-blank range. Clark scored her second goal of the day on the Bruins' first power play goal (on their seventh attempt) with 1:22 left, cutting the lead to 5-4. But Clark's game-tying shot was wide left as the Bruins were upset by LMU, which picked up its first win over UCLA in 16 tries. The Bruins' bid for an unprecedented sixth-straight national championship in women's water polo came to an end.
"It's always hard to stay on top; that in itself is hard," junior Priscilla Orozco said. "But we just tried to take it a game at a time. We didn't focus on the five championships, (but instead) we were trying to get another one. That wasn't really our focus, we just wanted to focus on one game at a time. As a player, I don't think it's different just because you beat them before. Just the fact that it's the NCAA tournament; whoever we play, we are going to respect them and do whatever it takes to win. So I don't think the win in the regular season affected us today."
Dement finished with seven saves while Cato recorded 11 for LMU.
The Bruins will face Marist tomorrow at the Aztec Aquaplex at 12:30 p.m. in the consolation braket.
No. 6 Loyola Marymount vs. No. 3 UCLA (NCAA Quarterfinal Match)
LMU Goals: Anne Scott 2, Daisy Carrillo, Mary Ann Campos, Erin Manke
LMU Saves: Kristine Cato 11