Today, the UCLA women’s water polo team returns to action with an MPSF doubleheader after having last weekend off. The Bruins will play Arizona State at 11:30 am PT and MPSF newcomer Indiana at 3:00 pm PT.
Last Time Out
When the Bruins last hopped in the pool, they opened MPSF play with a home game against the UC Berkeley Golden Bears after losing to them the week before at the Barbara Kalbus Invitational at UC Irvine.
The Bruins got on the board first in this game when Ava Johnson scored on a power play with 6:18 left in the first quarter. The only other goal of the quarter came with 46 seconds left when Bella Baia scored UCLA’s second goal of the game.
The Bruin barrage continued in the second quarter when UCLA scored the first three goals to take a 5-0 lead. Kelsey Blacker scored the Bruins’ first goal of the quarter, just 23 seconds into the second. A minute and three seconds later, Grace Reego made it 4-0, Bruins, and Rachel Whitelegge scored UCLA’s fifth goal with 5:02 left in the half. UC Berkeley finally got on the board when Kitty Lynn Joustra scored with 4:39 to go and the teams went into the break with the score, 5-1.
In the second half, the Golden Bears scored three straight goals to cut UCLA’s edge to just a goal, 5-4. With 48 seconds left in the third, Maddie Musselman scored the Bruins’ only goal of the quarter and UCLA took a 6-4 lead into the last frame.
The fourth quarter saw the game turn into a seesaw battle. UC Berkeley scored first to cut UCLA’s lead to 6-5 before Bronte Halligan responded with 6:20 left in the game, making it 7-5. Another Golden Bear goal cut the Bruin lead to just one again, but Musselman scored her second goal on a power play that put UCLA back up by two. UC Berkeley’s final goal of the game came on a power play with 1:21 left while UCLA’s final goal came when Val Ayala scored on a power play with only 55 seconds to go.
The Bruins will play the host Sun Devils in the first game of today’s doubleheader. Arizona State is 10-7 so far this year, but the Sun Devils have lost four straight games against Top Ten teams. So, the first game shouldn’t be too tough for the Bruins, but not as easy as today’s second game against Indiana.
The Hoosiers are playing their first season in the MPSF and, while they are ranked #22 in the country, they have just a 5-11 record overall and an 0-3 record in the MPSF. So, I’m expecting the Bruins to win the second game by at least ten goals.
This is your UCLA women’s water polo MPSF doubleheader open thread.