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Emily Donohoe
Bruins Battle but Fall to Defending Champions, 5-3
By: UCLA Athletics

May 11, 2013

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BOSTON - The No. 3 UCLA women's water polo team gave its best defensive effort of the season, but fell 5-3 to No. 2 Stanford, the two-time defending NCAA champions, in a semifinal game on Saturday at Harvard's Blodgett Pool in Boston. Sophomore Emily Donohoe led the Bruins with two goals.

UCLA fell to 27-7 overall, while Stanford improved to 29-2, advancing to tomorrow's NCAA Championship game vs. No. 1 USC. UCLA is now 50-8 all-time in postseason play and 27-5 in NCAA Championship competition.

"I think we as a team, represented our institution well and should be proud of our effort," UCLA Head Coach Brandon Brooks said. "But that being said, it is very painful to lose this game."

Senior Jillian Garton scored first for Stanford with a low skipper that found the right corner at the 2:14 mark of the first period. Freshman India Forster knotted the game at 1-1 with a power play goal for the Bruins off a nice feed from sophomore Danielle Ferraro.

Freshman Maggie Steffens gave the Cardinal a 2-1 lead with a nearside goal with 6:02 left in the second period. That started a string of three straight goals for Stanford in the quarter. Senior Melissa Seidemann made it 3-1, firing a high nearside skipper with 3:41 to go in the second period. Steffens then scored her second goal of the game (:28) with a power play strike to send the Cardinal into halftime leading 4-1.

The Bruins won the second half, 2-1, and the third period, 1-0. Donohoe's power play goal with 40 seconds left was the only score of the quarter, ending the third period with UCLA trailing 4-2.

"In the first half, they pressed us really hard, so we had to adjust to that in the second half," Donohoe said. "I think we did a good job adjusting to it, we just couldn't put our shots away. We took great shots but they just didn't go our way today. There definitely was a change from the first half to the second. We were trying to charge them instead of them pressing us."

Garton scored her second goal of the game for Stanford with 6:39 left in the fourth to give the Cardinal an insurmountable 5-2 advantage. Donohoe scored her second of the game with a tough goal through three Cardinal defenders to end the scoring at 5-3 with 14 seconds left in the contest.

"I think overall defensively, we executed our game plan very well," Brooks added. "I think we were a couple of decisions in the back court and a couple of moves defensively, away from a perfect defensive game. But at this time of year, mistakes like that cost you big. Defensively, I thought we played excellent."

Redshirt sophomore Sami Hill played the entire game in goal for UCLA and recorded 11 saves. Kate Baldoni also played the entire game in goal for Stanford and was credited with 12 saves (three in every quarter).

UCLA was 2-for-9 on power plays while Stanford was 1-for-7 on its 6-on-5 opportunities.

"Every game is a great experience and you learn something new and you gain more knowledge every game," freshman Rachel Fattal said. "Even though we didn't get what we wanted this game, we are going to come out of it having learned something big."

The Bruins will conclude the 2013 season with the third-place game vs. sixth-ranked Hawai'i on Sunday at Harvard's Blodgett Pool. Game time is slated for 12:30 p.m. (PT)/3:30 p.m. (ET).

"I'd really like to thank my team for their fight all year," Brooks said. "This group of seniors has been with me as long as I have been a head coach, so I really appreciate their dedication and sticking through to the end."

No. 3 UCLA vs. No. 2 Stanford

  1 2 3 4 F
UCLA 1 0 1 1 3
Stanford 1 3 0 1 5

UCLA Goals: Emily Donohoe 2, India Forster
UCLA Saves: Sami Hill 11

Stanford Goals: Jillian Garton 2, Maggie Steffens 2, Melissa Seidemann
Stanford Saves: Kate Baldoni 12

The NCAA will webcast every game of the 2013 NCAA Women's Water Polo Championship at Harvard's Blodgett Pool. All games can be watched and heard here:
NCAA Tournament Webcast

UCLA Health Sponsor - Event Information
Saturday, Apr 02
vs. San Jose State
Los Angeles, CA
W, 13 - 6
Sunday, Apr 03
vs. Redlands
Los Angeles, CA
W, 23 - 2
Sunday, Apr 03
vs. Pomona-Pitzer
Los Angeles, CA
W, 25 - 3
Saturday, Apr 09
at USC
Los Angeles, CA
L, 5 - 8
Friday, Apr 15
vs. Arizona State
Los Angeles, CA
W, 16 - 6
Saturday, Apr 23
vs. Stanford
Los Angeles, CA
W, 9 - 8 (3OT)
Friday, Apr 29
at CSU Bakersfield
Bakersfield, CA
W, 10 - 3
Saturday, Apr 30
vs. Stanford
Bakersfield, CA
L, 3 - 6
Sunday, May 01
vs. California
Bakersfield, CA
W, 7 - 5
Friday, May 13
vs. UC San Diego
Los Angeles, CA
W, 17 - 4
Saturday, May 14
vs. Stanford
Los Angeles, CA
L, 4 - 7
Sunday, May 15
vs. Michigan
Los Angeles, CA
W, 5 - 4