This weekend, the UCLA women’s water polo team heads to Irvine for the Barbara Kalbus Invitational. Today, the #3 Bruins play just one game against the #17 Long Beach State 49ers at 12:30 pm PT.
Last Time Out
Last Saturday, the Bruins needed overtime to get past the UC Irvine Anteaters. Ava Johnson led UCLA with three goals while Maddie Musselman and Grace Reego each had two.
The Bruins took a 4-1 lead after the first period with goals from Bella Baia, Kelsey Blacker, Roxy Wheaton and Reego. UCLA’s only goal in the second was a power play goal by Johnson with 1:46 left in the half. That goal put the Bruins up 5-1, but the Anteaters scored twice before the end of the half to close the gap to 5-3 at the break.
The third period was an offensive explosion from both teams. Tara Prentice scored the first of three goals in the period to get UCI on the board first in the second half. Lexi Liebowitz and Musselman scored for the Bruins in between Prentice’s goals while Reego and Val Ayala made it 9-6, UCLA. Mary Brooks scored on a power play goal for the Anteaters with just a second left in the third to cut the Bruins’ lead to 9-7 after three.
UC Irvine tied the score in the fourth on a pair of goals from Brooks, but Musselman gave the Bruins a 10-9 lead on a breakaway goal with 3:30 left. Less than 30 seconds later, Brooks scored her third goal of the quarter and fifth of the game to tie it up 10-10 and that’s how regulation ended, sending the game to overtime.
It was all Bruins in overtime as a power play goal by Johnson gave UCLA an 11-10 lead after the first overtime. Because water polo rules mandate two overtime periods, the game moved into the second OT. Bronte Halligan gave the Bruins a 12-10 lead while Johnson finished her hat trick with 22 seconds left was the final goal of the game to give the Bruins a 13-10 win.
Long Beach State
The 49ers opened their season a few weeks ago at the Cal Tournament and they lost all four games they played against Stanford, Fresno State, San Jose State and UC Berkeley. Two weeks ago at the Triton Invite, they lost to LMU and UC San Diego, but got their first two wins of the season against Pomona-Pitzer and Cal State Northridge.
Today’s game should be an easy win for the Bruins. In fact, I thnk UCLA will take this one by at least 10 goals and I’m predicting a final score of 17-7.
This is your UCLA vs. Long Beach State women’s water polo open thread.