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UCLA Women’s Water Polo Wins Opener, Plays Two More Games Today

Freshman Val Ayala picked up a hat trick in her first collegiate game for the Bruins.

Brooke Maxson’s two fourth quarter goals were icing on the cake yesterday when the Bruins opened the season with a 10-6 win.
Don Liebig/

Yesterday, the UCLA women’s water polo team opened their season with a 10-6 victory over Cal State Northridge. The Bruins were led by freshman Val Ayala who had a hat trick in her first collegiate game.

Sarah Sheldon got UCLA on the scoreboard first when she scored just over a minute into the game. The Matadors scored less than a minute later to tie it at 1-1, but they were never able to take a lead against the Bruins. That’s because UCLA finished the quarter with a pair of consecutive goals first from Bella Baia and then from Ayala as the Bruins took a 3-1 lead.

CSUN closed the gap to 3-2 with the first goal of the second quarter, but it would be their final goal before the half as UCLA ran off four consecutive goals. Grace Reego scored her first goal of the season with just under five minutes left in the half and Lizette Rozeboom made it 5-2 about 30 seconds later. Ayala’s second goal came with 3:37 to go while Rachel Whitelegge scored the final goal of the half 47 seconds later. Whitelegge’s goal would prove to be the game winner.

The third quarter was the calm before the storm as the only one goal scored by either team was put through by CSUN with 1:37 left to make it, 7-3. But, the fourth quarter was fast and furious as each team added three more goals. Ayala’s third was the first of the quarter just 43 seconds into the period. Brooke Maxson’s first goal of the game gave UCLA a 9-3 lead. Following a pair of goals from the Matadors, Maxson struck again to put the Bruins up 10-5 with 2:55 left, but all CSUN could muster was one last goal with 19 seconds left and UCLA had their first win of the season.

Today, the Bruins have a pair of games against UC Irvine at 9:45 am and Cal Baptist at 1:30 pm. This morning’s game against the Anteaters is the first of the season for them. Cal Baptist lost both of their games yesterday. They dropped yesterday’s opening game to host UCSB, 14-4. Later in the day, they lost to Southern Cal, 25-5.

Go Bruins!!!