Coach K and his incredible program (which has now entered the rarified sphere of Coach Wooden and Scate's legendary programs at UCLA) gets it done again.
UCLA women's waterpolo team wins their 5th straight NCAA championship (an astounding championship number 10 for Coach Adam Krikorian at UCLA) by beating number 1 ranked Southern Cal Trojans in a hear-stopping 5-4 win. From the official site:
The Bruins (25-6) led 5-3 at halftime and did not score in the final two quarters.
Tanya Gandy led the Bruins with three goals, including two in the first minute of play. Anne Belden (late in the first quarter) and Priscilla Orozco (late in second quarter) scored UCLA's other two goals. Goalie Brittany Fullen had at least a dozen saves, including one on USC's final possession. The Bruins were then able to run out the clock to win the title.
Sunday's championship match marked the final game for Adam Krikorian as the UCLA head women's water polo coach. Krikorian will assume duties as the U.S. Women's Water Polo National Team coach this month, while staying at UCLA as a member of the men's water polo coaching staff.
I watched parts of the first half and most of the second half. When I was watching our ladies moving their hands, swarming their opponents I kept thinking Ben Ball defense. They were tenacious, suffocating, and backed up by the incredible effort of Brittany Fullen, who kept repelling shots after shots.
Congrats to Coach K who moves on to take over the USA's national team and will be in charge of that program presumably through 2012 Olympics. Of course we are all hoping and praying he comes back.
Again congrats to these amazing group of Bruins who have now carved up their own space in the pantheons of Bruin lore. Well done ladies.