Two weeks ago, the #4 UCLA Women’s Water Polo team faced off against then-#1 Stanford. It was a tough game for the Bruins.
Stanford jumped out to a 4-0 advantage before Rachel Whitelegge got UCLA on the scoreboard, The Cardinal added another goal before the end of the quarter and it was 5-1, Stanford.
The Bruins cut the lead to 5-2 with the only goal of the second quarter when Myrna Simmons scored a power play goal with 3:04 left in the half.
After the break, Maddie Musselman sparked a Bruin rally that saw UCLA score three consecutive third quarter goals to tie the game at 5-5. Unfortunately for UCLA, the rest of the game went Stanford’s way as the Cardinal closed the third quarter by going up 6-5.
Stanford added two more insurance goals in the fourth while their defense stymied the Bruin attack to seal the win for the Cardinal.
Since the Bruins lost that game, there is now a new #1 team in the country as Southern Cal took over the top spot after beating the Cardinal last weekend. As a result, UCLA will now face the top-ranked team in consecutive games. Unfortunately, it’s looking more and more likely that UCLA will need to win the upcoming MPSF Tournament to secure an NCAA Tournament berth.
That said, a win today over Southern Cal certainly wouldn’t hurt UCLA’s chances as they close out the regular season across town against the Trojans. A win today could mean help the Bruins get into the NCAA tourney just by advancing to the MPSF title game, but that’s not a lock. At the same time, a loss would pretty much require the Bruins to win the MPSF title in order to advance to the NCAA tourney.
This is your UCLA Bruins at Southern Cal Trojans women’s water polo open thread.