The UCLA Women’s Water Polo team will play in the MPSF 3rd Place Game this morning after losing to Southern Cal in the MPSF Semifinals yesterday, 13-10 as the Bruins couldn’t find a way to stop the Trojans’ Paige Hauschild.
The Bruins will face the UC Berkeley Golden Bears, who lost to Stanford, 12-9, in the other semifinal game.
The Bruins drew first blood in the game against Southern Cal yesterday when Maddie Musselman scored with 4:54 left in the first quarter. But Southern Cal came back 9 seconds later to tie the game back up and they took a 2-1 lead about a minute later on a powerplay goal by Verica Bakoc. Musselman tied it at 2-2 on a powerplay goal with just under two minutes to go in the first quarter.
Bakoc gave the Trojans the lead again, just over a minute into the second quarter. With 3:51 left in the half, Maud Megens doubled Southern Cal’s lead to 4-2. UCLA’s only goal of the quarter came with 52 seconds left when Bronte Halligan scored on a Bruin powerplay, but Southern Cal’s Hayley McKelvey responded just 15 seconds later to give the Trojans a 5-3 halftime lead.
The third quarter belonged to Hauschild. First, she scored the first goal of the second half to give the Trojans a 3-goal advantage, 6-3, about two minutes into the third quarter and then added her second goal on a penalty shot with 5:11 left. Musselman completed her hat trick with 4:21 to go and UCLA trailed 7-4. Just twelve seconds later, Hauschild scored her third of the quarter and the Trojans again led by four. Not to be outdone, Halligan scored a pair of goals with 3:55 and 3:22 left in the third for UCLA’s second hat trick of the game. But, Hauschild’s fourth goal of the quarter gave the Trojans a 9-6 lead after three.
With 7 minutes left in the game, Hauschild scored her fifth goal of the second half and it was 10-6, Trojans. Grace Reego scored her first goal of the game 43 seconds later to make it a 3-goal game again, but Hauschild’s sixth goal of the half would make it 11-7, Trojans, and prove to be the game-winner. Halligan’s fourth goal pulled UCLA back within three with 3:51 left, but, again, Southern Cal responded. This time, it was Kelsey McIntosh with a goal at the 3:19 mark, not Hauschild.
In the final two minutes, the Bruins tried to come back. Emily Skelly scored to make it 12-9 with 1:51 left while Lexi Liebowitz managed to cut the Trojans’ lead to two with 30 seconds left, but that was all the offense UCLA could muster. Kaylee Brownsberger added a final goal for Southern Cal with 2 seconds left and the final was Southern Cal 13, UCLA 10.
This morning, the Bruins will battle UC Berkeley in the MSPF 3rd Place Game after the Golden Bears fell to Stanford, 12-9. So far this season, UCLA has split the two games they’ve played against the Bears. UCLA won the first meeting at the Barbara Kalbus Invitational, 7-5, but lost to UC Berkeley on the road, 5-3.
This is your UCLA vs. UC Berkeley women’s water polo open thread.