Last Sunday, UCLA swept its doubleheader at the UCSB Winter Invitational to move to a perfect 5-0 on the season. The Bruins started out by defeating host UC Santa Barbara 10-6 in their early game and then crushed UC San Diego in their afternoon game, 9-3.
The first game was the tougher of the two, even though UCLA got off to a 3-0 start with first quarter goals by Haley Evans, Grace Reego and Emily Skelly. That’s because the Gauchos responded with three second quarter goals to tie the game at halftime.
The Bruins came out strong after the break when Maddie Musselman put UCLA ahead just 20 seconds into the third quarter. UCSB was able to tie it up at 4-4 before Lizette Rozeboom put the Bruins ahead again with just 1:14 left and UCLA led 5-4 after three.
Bronte Halligan made it a two-goal lead when she scored just 16 seconds into the fourth quarter, but, less than 20 seconds later, UCSB scored to make it a one goal game again. A flurry of fourth quarter goals from Kelsey Blacker, Musselman, Rozeboom and Lexi Leibowitz put the Bruins up 10-5 while the Gauchos were only able to score once as UCLA won 10-6.
Against UC San Diego, the Bruins relied on strong second quarter to win the game. The Tritons took a 2-1 lead as UCLA could only muster a goal from Skelly in the first quarter. Reego scored to tie the game early in the second quarter. The rest of the second was all Bruins as Brooke Maxson, Halligan and Rozeboom all scored while UCLA held the Tritons defensively. Halligan’s goal would prove to be the game-winner for the Bruins.
UCSD’s Kayla Fedler cut the Bruin lead to 5-3 a minute into the third quarter, but the rest of the period was again all Bruins as Alexis Angermund, Liebowitz and Rachel Whitelegge each added goals for UCLA. Rozeboom scored her second goal of the game with 3:44 left to give the Bruins a 9-3 win.
Today looks to be another busy day for the Bruins. They’ve already scrimmaged against the Chinese National team this morning. At 9 am PT, they will face #24 Marist and then, at 2:15 pm PT, they will have a rematch of last Saturday’s game against #8 Michigan.
Marist should be an easy win for the Bruins, but the late game will be tougher. Last weekend, the Bruins needed a fourth quarter goal by Musselman to get past Michigan 5-4. It should be interesting to see what happens today when the Wolverines are playing in their home pool.
This is your UCLA Women’s Water Polo doubleheader open thread.