April 26, 2013
BERKELEY, Calif. - The No. 4 UCLA women's water polo team rallied to defeat No. 5 California, 4-3, in a quarterfinal game of the 2013 MPSF Championship Tournament in Berkeley, Calif., on Friday afternoon at Cal's Spieker Aquatic Complex. UCLA freshman Rachel Fattal scored a hat trick to lead the Bruins.
With the win, the Bruins improve to 25-5 overall, advancing to tomorrow's semifinal, where they will face No. 1 Stanford at 2:30 p.m. The California Golden Bears drop to 16-7 overall and will play in the consolation bracket.
The Golden Bears jumped out to a 3-0 lead. Junior Ashley Young put California on the board first with a score at the 2:01 mark of the first period. California led 2-0 at the end of the first period as senior Emily Csikos score a power play goal with 33 seconds left in the first.
California would then lead 3-0 with 3:08 remaining in the second period after Young scored her second of the game on a 6-on-5 opportunity. Fattal got the Bruins on the board to make it 3-1, converting a penalty shot with 2:17 left in the second period. Then two possessions later, the Bruins capitalized on another California miscue. Freshman Kodi Hill scored an exclusion goal (1:02) to end the first half scoring with Cal leading 3-2.
After a scoreless third period by both teams, the Bruins would tie it at 3-3 with another power play goal from Fattal with 5:09 to go. She would then score the game-winner on a lob shot from set to give the Bruins a 4-3 lead with 2:07 remaining. The Bruins picked up a huge stop on the Golden Bears' next possession, a 6-on-5 opportunity, to help seal the win. The Bruin defense came up huge, holding California without a goal for the final 19:08, to complete the comeback.
Redshirt sophomore Sami Hill played the entire game in goal for UCLA and recorded 11 saves. Savanna Smith was in goal for California and played the entire contest, making eight saves.
UCLA, the defending MPSF Tournament champions, now take on No. 1 Stanford, the 2013 regular season champions, in the last semifinal of the day on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at the Spieker Aquatics Complex.
No. 4 UCLA at No. 5 California
UCLA Goals: Rachel Fattal 3, Kodi Hill
UCLA Saves: Sami Hill 11
California Goals: Ashley Young 2, Emily Csikos
California Saves: Savanna Smith 8