No. 2 UCLA Falls to No. 3 USC, 12-10, in NCAA Semifinals
May 12, 2012
SAN DIEGO - Sarah Orozco and Emily Greenwood both had hat tricks for No. 2 UCLA as the Bruins lost to No. 3 USC, 12-10, in a semifinal contest of the NCAA Tournament Saturday afternoon at San Diego State's Aztec Aquaplex.
UCLA (22-4) will face No. 4-seed UC Irvine on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. in the third place match.
In a back-and-forth first half, USC (23-5) took the lead for good on a goal from Patricia Jancso with 2:30 left in the second quarter that put the Women of Troy ahead, 5-4. USC led the Bruins at halftime, 6-5
"I'm very proud of the way that this team competed," UCLA head coach Brandon Brooks said. "My hat goes off to USC. They hit some really nice shots today. I thought we played well.
"In this game, at this time of the year, you want to go out and you want to compete for the whole game. You want to play well and you want to have a chance to win. I think we were there neck-and-neck and they beat us."
USC scored first when Monica Vavic's skip shot beat UCLA goalkeeper Caitlin Dement near the left post with 6:28 to go in the first. Orozco tied the match for UCLA, 1-1, on a power-play goal that was set up from a nice feed from Gisselle Naranjo.
The Bruins took their only lead of the match at 2-1 when Emily Donohoe's cross-cage goal from the weak side beat USC goalkeeper Flora Bolonyai with 1:29 left in the opening period. USC's Kaleigh Gilchrist ended the first period by scoring on a turn at two meters with 39 seconds left, knotting the score at 2-2.
Gilchrist then scored her second goal from two meters to give the Trojans a 3-2 lead with 5:30 to go in the second period.
Greenwood tied the match, 3-3, on UCLA's next possession, scoring on a 6-on-5 play with 4:54 left. Vavic's skip shot on the nearside put USC ahead of the Bruins, 4-3, at the 3:32 mark.
UCLA's KK Clark nailed a penalty shot with 3:08 left before halftime, tying the game at 4-4.
USC followed with a goal from Jancso, sending the Women of Troy to a 5-4 lead at the 2:30 mark. Vavic completed a hat trick on a power-play goal, USC's first conversion in five attempts, to put the Women of troy ahead of UCLA, 6-4, with 1:18 to go.
Orozco scored her second of the match with a power play goal with 53 seconds left to end the first-half scoring at 6-5 USC.
The third period had an interesting start as USC had a goal waived off because of an inside two meters penalty and then the Trojans failed to convert on a 2-on-0 break on the next possession after a Bruin miscue. But UCLA had one goal disallowed on its next possession, getting whistled for a ball under penalty.
Vavic scored her fourth goal of the afternoon, putting UCLA ahead, 7-5, with 6:10 left in the third quarter. Greenwood scored her second goal of the match, trimming USC's margin to 7-6 on a nice directional from Donohoe with 5:35 left.
USC's Chelsea Silvers converted on a 6-on-5 opportunity, putting the Women of Troy up again by two goals, 8-6, with 5:19 left in the third quarter. Jancso scored her second of the match at the 4:01 mark, giving USC a 9-6 advantage.
Colleen O'Donnell opened the scoring in the final period, giving USC its largest lead of the match at 10-6 with 6:50 to go.
Clark scored her second goal of the match on a skipper to the top left corner, cutting USC's margin to 10-7 at the 6:34 mark.
Trailing 12-8 with 4:53 left in regulation, UCLA was able to close the gap to 12-10 with goals from Orozco (1:16) and Greenwood (0:49).
"Anytime you play a rivalry game, you would expect it's going to be a hard-fought, close game," Brooks said. "They'd score, and then we'd score back-to-back goals so many times. That is the two teams fighting, which is the beauty of sport. It hurts to be on the losing end.
"Playing them the fourth time and the prospect of beating them a fourth time in one year, probably does make it a little more difficult, because they've felt that feeling of losing. It made them that much hungrier (to win) this time."
Dement registered seven saves in the cage for the Bruins, while Bolonyai recorded eight stops in goal for USC. The Bruins ended the match going 4-for-5 on power play opportunities while USC converted on just 2-of-7.
The Bruins will face No. 4-seed UC Irvine (25-7) in the third-place match on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. (PT).
No. 2-seed UCLA vs. No. 3-seed USC (NCAA Tournament, Semifinals)
USC Goals: Monica Vavic 4, Patricia Jancso 4, Kaleigh Gilchrist 2, Chelsea Silvers, Colleen O'Donnell
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