After sweeping yesterday’s doubleheader against Santa Clara and UC Davis, the UCLA women’s water polo team looks to compete for the tournament championship today at the Triton Invitational.
Last Time Out
Yesterday morning, the Bruins opened the Triton Invitational with a 17-2 win over Santa Clara. This one was over less than three minutes into the game. Rachel Whitelegge scored first for UCLA just 25 seconds into the game. Lexi Liebowitz added a power play goal with 6:21 left in the quarter. Ava Johnson’s pow er play goal with 5:15 to go would prove to be the game-winning goal for the Bruins, but she would add a full-strength goal with 3:27 as UCLA took a 4-0 lead. Santa Clara scored their only goal of the quarter with 1:41 left to close the gap to 4-1.
UCLA added five more goals in the second quarter with goals from Val Ayala, Skylar Savar, Johnson, Grace Reego and Maddie Musselman and the Bruins led 9-1 at the half. Early in the third quarter, a goal from Kelsey Blacker and Musselman’s second of the game made it seven consecutive goals for the Bruins and UCLA stretched their lead to 11-1. The Broncos scored their second and final goal of the game just past the midway point in the quarter to make it 11-2, Bruins. UCLA closed out the quarter with a power play goal from Bella Baia and a full-strength goal from Bella Wentzel.
In the final quarter, Johnson scored her fourth goal of the game and Baia added her second. Emily Skelly netted one the Bruins’ sixteenth goal with 3:24 left and Reego finished the scoring with her second goal of the game and UCLA won 17-2.
In the Bruins’ second game, UCLA faced the UC Davis Aggies who they beat two weeks ago 13-8. Yesterday’s game was a much lower scoring affair.
Maddie Musselman got the scoring going in this one with a pair of first quarter goals before the Aggies got on the board with just over a minute to play. Musselman picked up a hat trick with 2:18 left in the half and UCLA led 3-1. Bella Wentzel scored the game-winner for the Bruins 48 seconds later and Musselman’s fourth goal of the game came on a power play with 11 seconds to go in the half. That put UCLA ahead 5-1 at the break.
With neither team scoring in the third quarter, Grace Reego scored the first goal of the second half with 6:10 to go in the game to make it 6-1, Bruins. The Aggies tried to mount a comeback with a pair of late goals, but weren’t able to get any closer than 6-3.
UCLA will play UC Irvine in the second semifinal game, which starts at 12:30 pm. These two teams have already met this season and the Bruins won the game 10-6. While UC Irvine could prove to be tough today, UCLA should win the game.
That would set up a probable championship matchup against Southern Cal. That would be the Bruins’ toughest test so far this season. It would also give the Bruins a chance to move up in the rankings if they can win it. Of course, that’s not a given whenever the crosstown rivals meet, but, hopefully, Adam Wright can find a way to win
This is your Triton Invitational Day 2 open thread.