No. 1 UCLA Women's Water Polo Edges No. 3 USC, 6-5
March 3, 2012
LOS ANGELES - The No. 1 UCLA women's water polo team secured a 6-5 victory in an MPSF match at No. 3 USC on Saturday afternoon. Gisselle Naranjo scored the game-winning goal with 2:47 left in the fourth quarter.
UCLA (13-1, 2-0 MPSF) recorded its seven consecutive victory, receiving a team-leading two goals from Naranjo and Hannah Sebenaler at USC's McDonald's Swim Stadium.
The Bruins fought back from a 4-2 halftime deficit against USC (11-3, 1-1 MPSF). UCLA outscored the Women of Troy by a 2-1 margin in the third quarter and blanked USC, 2-0, in the final period.
"This was a great win for our team," head coach Brandon Brooks said. "I'm very proud of our teamwork and how we kept our composure. We played very solid defense and found enough goals to get a win. It's always difficult to play USC at USC. They are a very good opponent."
USC led 2-0 in the first quarter on goal from Kaleight Gilchrist and Nadia Dan. UCLA tied the match, 2-2, in the second quarter, before the Women of Troy pushed ahead, 4-2, with back-to-back goals from Monica Vavic.
Sebenaler scored with 5:10 to play in the third quarter, cutting USC's advantage to 4-3. Naranjo tied the game at 4-4, scoring in a one-on-one situation with 4:46 remaining in the third period.
USC regained the lead on Gilchrist's second goal of the day, a shot from two-meters with 3:42 left in regulation.
UCLA quickly answered as Becca Dorst converted on a 6-on-5 opportunity at the 3:31 mark. Naranjo's mid-range lob shot with 2:47 left in the contest put the Bruins ahead, 6-5.
Vavic stole the ball in the final minute, but USC misfired on their final 6-on-5 opportunity.
UCLA goalkeeper Caitlin Dement was credited with 11 saves in the cage. USC's Flora Bolonyai made 10 stops in goal.
The Bruins return home for an MPSF match against San Jose State on Saturday, March 10. Game time at UCLA's Spieker Aquatics Center is 1 p.m.
No. 1 UCLA at No. 3 USC (MPSF match)
USC Goals: Kaleigh Gilchrist 2, Monica Vavic 2, Nadia Dan
CLick for Bruin Video