May 8, 2009
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The No. 3-seed UCLA women's water polo team defeated No. 6-seed Michigan, 13-6, Friday afternoon in an NCAA Tournament first-round match at Maryland's Eppley Recreation Center. With the win, the Bruins (23-6) advance to Saturday's semifinal match against No. 2-seed Stanford (25-3) at 2:45 pm PT.
Senior Anne Belden led UCLA with three goals, as the Bruins also received two goals each from seniors Tanya Gandy and Katie Rulon and freshman KK Clark. The win marked UCLA's 12th consecutive victory in NCAA Tournament action, as the Bruins pushed their all-time NCAA Tournament record to 18-1.
Michigan (33-9) received two goals - both on penalty shots - from sophomore Lauren Orth.
UCLA senior goalkeeper Brittany Fullen collected 10 saves. Michigan's Brittany May recorded five saves.
"Overall, we knew Michigan was going to be a tough game going into this," UCLA head coach Adam Krikorian said. "Congratulations to Michigan. I give them credit for playing us tough. That's exactly what we expected."
UCLA led from the start, securing a 4-0 advantage in the first quarter, and never looked back. Rulon put the Bruins on the board with 6:21 to play in the opening frame before UCLA received goals from Belden (3:48), Gandy (2:29) and again from Rulon (0:56). Carrie Frost scored Michigan's first goal with 16 seconds remaining in the first quarter, before Clark scored at the one-second mark in the opening period.
Leading 5-1 after the first quarter, UCLA extended its margin to 7-3 by halftime. A goal by Gandy at the 4:03 mark in the second frame handed the Bruins a 6-1 cushion. Michigan reduced UCLA's lead to 6-2 on the first of Orth's two goals. The Bruins regained a five-goal lead with 2:35 to play in the first half on a goal from Belden. Michigan's Cara Reitz scored the final goal of the second quarter with 24 seconds to go.
"I was proud of the way we started the first quarter," Krikorian said. "Clearly, that was the key to getting off to a good start. However, I thought we put it into cruise control a little too early."
UCLA outscored Michigan by a 2-1 margin in the third quarter and by a 4-2 tally in the final frame. The Wolverines never got closer than four goals. After a goal by Bruin sophomore Kelly Easterday with 3:24 to play in the third period, Leah Robertson pulled Michigan to within 8-4, scoring on a strike at the 14-second mark. For the second time in the afternoon, UCLA scored with one second to play in a quarter, this time from sophomore Priscilla Orozco at the conclusion of the third.
Orth's second goal of the day, at 7:19 in the fourth quarter, reduced UCLA's lead to 9-5. Clark registered her second goal of the afternoon at 3:56, handing the Bruins a 10-5 cushion. Michigan netted its final goal at 3:18, a strike from Alison Mantel. UCLA pushed its advantage to seven goals with scores from Belden (2:54) and freshmen Hannah Sebenaler (0:56) and freshman Nicole Barker (0:01).
No. 3-seed UCLA faces No. 2-seed Stanford on Saturday in one of two NCAA Tournament semifinal matches. Game time at Maryland's Eppley Recreation Center is 2:45 p.m. (PT). Live streaming video of all NCAA Tournament matches is available, free of charge, at umterps.com.
No. 6-seed Michigan vs. No. 3-seed UCLA (NCAA Tournament - First Round)
Michigan Goals: Lauren Orth 2, Carrie Frost, Alison Mantel, Cara Reitz, Leah Robertson
Michigan Saves: Brittany May 5