It seems like it’s been forever since the UCLA women’s water polo team has been in the pool, but it’s only really been 13 days. Well, tonight, the Bruins are back home for a non-conference game against Pacific at 6 pm PT.
Last Time Out
UCLA was last in the pool on March 16 against both Arizona State and Indiana and they swept the MPSF doubleheader.
Against Arizona State, the Bruins found themselves down early as the Sun Devils scored just 42 second into the game. But ASU’s lead was short-lived as Maddie Musselman tied it up 27 seconds later and Brooke Maxson put UCLA ahead, 2-1, only 43 seconds after that. UCLA’s final goal of the first quarter came from Lizette Rozeboom with 3:45 left in the quarter while ASU would add one more goal just past the three minute mark, After one, the Bruins led, 3-2.
Musselman’s second goal of the game came just over a minute into the second quarter, but ASU scored the next two to tie the game, 4-4. With 4:14 left in the half, Bronte Halligan put UCLA ahead, 5-4, but the Sun Devils responded 37 seconds later to tie it, 5-5. Finally, with 11 seconds to go before half, Rozeboom added her second goal of the game to put the Bruins up, 6-5, at the half.
After the break, UCLA came out with a pair of consecutive goals from Rachel Whitelegge and one more from Halligan to take a 9-5 with 3:56 left in the third. ASU finally got their first goal half 23 seconds later. With 1:46 left in the third, Roxy Wheaton scored what would end up being the game-winning goal for the Bruins. The Sun Devils scored one more time before the end of the quarter to make it 10-7 after three.
Arizona State closed the gap to 10-8 before Musselman finished her hat trick with 3:22 left. Another ASU goal made it 11-9, but the only other goal of the game was Rozeboom’s third with 1:09 left.
Later on against Indiana, the game was effectively over by the midway point of the first quarter. Wheaton opened the scoring for the Bruins and she was followed by Rozeboom. Indiana managed to get on the board with 4:28 to go in the quarter, but Grace Reego scored 18 seconds later, making it 3-1, Bruins. Reego’s goal would prove to be the game-winner, but UCLA went on to score two more in the first on goals by Katrina Drake and Rozeboom’s second of this game. That made the score 5-1, Bruins, after one.
UCLA added three more goals in the second while giving up just one. Halligan had the first while Rozeboom completed her second hat trick of the day for the second and Myna Simmons scored the third.
The Bruins added four goals in each quarter of the second half while shutting out the Hoosiers. UCLA had third quarter goals from Sarah Sheldon, Bella Baia, Kelsey Blacker, and Bella Wentzel while the fourth quarter goals were scored by Blacker, Simmons, and Lexi Liebowitz, who scored the final two goals of the game for a 16-2 final.
Surprisingly, tonight’s game is the first meeting of the season between the Bruins and the Tigers. Pacific is just 8-7 so far this season. Three of their losses came against UC Berkeley and Stanford while Michigan has beaten them three of the four times they’ve met. The Tigers’ other loss came against Hawai’i. Their biggest wins of the year came against the Wolverines and against UC Irvine.
Tonight’s game won’t be as bad of a blowout as the game against the Hoosiers, but I’d be shocked if UCLA doesn’t win tonight by at least ten.
This is your UCLA vs. Pacific women’s water polo open thread.