The victory was UCLA's first since 2012 over USC and helped the Bruins improve to 23-3 overall and 5-1 in the MPSF. The Trojans slipped to 22-2 and 5-2 in league play.
The two teams put on a defensive battle from start to finish. The Bruins' Emily Donohoe struck first on a power play with 4:27 left in the opening period. USC's Eike Daube ended the scoring in the quarter with a low skip shot that beat UCLA goalkeeper Sami Hill near the right post with 2:09 to go.
The second period started out the same as the first with both teams failing to capitalize on power plays. USC's goalie Flora Bolonyai picked up a huge save on a penalty shot from Rachel Fattal. The Bruins also had two shots hit posts and another hit the crossbar with the score tied at 1-1. Kelly Ronimus gave the Bruins the lead at 2-1 with a cross-cage skip shot with 2:19 left in the second. But Monica Vavic tied the score at 2-2 with a 6-on-5 score with 1:38 to go, sending the two teams tied into the break.
In the third quarter, the Trojans struck quickly out of the gate with a drive and score on the weak side by Kelly Mendoza at the 7:43 mark for a 3-2 edge. But the rest of the quarter belonged to UCLA as Donohoe scored her second of the game on a high shot that was deflected in over the hands of Bolonyai to tie it at 3-3 (6:55). Then Alys Williams put the Bruins ahead for good (4-3) with a quick skip shot with 1:17 remaining in the third. On the wildest play of the game, UCLA's Kodi Hill scored the eventual game-winner with :23 to go after a pass from Danielle Ferraro was tipped by a USC defender and landed in front of the cage. Kodi Hill beat Bolonyai to the ball and punched it in for a 5-3 lead at the end of three. Sami Hill had the best quarter of the game in the cage with six stops in the third for the Bruins.
Vavic got USC back into the mix with her second goal of the game, a skipper from eight meters out with 5:56 to go in the fourth period. But Donohoe's hat trick sealed the deal for the Bruins. She scored on a cross-cage skip shot from a tough angle to answer for UCLA with 5:31 remaining and end the scoring at 6-4.
UCLA will return to action as the No. 2 seed in the MPSF Tournament at USC on April 25.
No. 3 UCLA 6, No. 2 USC 4
UCLA (1, 1, 3, 1 — 6)
USC (1, 1, 1, 1 — 4)
Goals: UCLA (Donohoe-3, Williams, Ronimus, K. Hill). USC (Vavic-2, Daube, Mendoza).
Saves UCLA (Sami Hill-15); USC (Flora Bolonyai 12)