With the weather getting warm, classes starting to get closer to an end in Westwood, it marks the beginning of NCAA tournament season for UCLA, and the Bruins will have a shot at obtaining UCLA's 111th NCAA national title this afternoon/early evening at Southern Cal. Yesterday, the #2-seeded Lady Bruins dropped the #3-seeded and defending national champs Southern Cal Trojans, 5-3, in the Trojans' own pool to advance to the national title game today against top-seeded Stanford. UCLA took an early advantage, scoring the first two goals through Kodi Hill and Mackenzie Barr. The Trojans came within one goal in the third quarter, but Emily Donohoe's goal in the fourth quarter gave UCLA enough of a cushion to ride it out defensively, thanks to Sami Hill's eight save effort.
Today, the Bruins will take on the top team in the nation, the #1-ranked Stanford Cardinal, who come into today's match-up at an impressive 24-1 on the season. Fortunately for UCLA, that one loss came at the hands of our Bruins back in late February at the UCI Invitational. There will once again be a tourney title on the line, but unlike in Irvine, today's game counts for the big prize, with our Bruins just four solid quarters of play away from another national title.
The game gets underway at 5:30 p.m. PST at Southern Cal's Uytensu Aquatics Center, which means the Bruins should enjoy a nice home-pool advantage (assuming UCLA fans actually come out for the match). If you're unable to make it to Southern Cal's campus this evening, you can watch the match live online at the NCAA's official website. For live statistics, you can track it here (HT @UCLAWaterPolo)
This is for all the marbles. Let's go get it Bruins and bring Westwood its 111th NCAA national title banner. This is your NCAA women's water polo championship open thread. Fire away in the comment threads as we hopefully watch our Lady Bruins drop the Cardinal for the second time this year.