NCAA tournament women's water polo results: Stanford-Cal, UCLA-USC in Saturday's semis
The quarterfinal round of the 2014 NCAA women's water polo tournament went well for the Pac-12 teams on Friday, though there was one inevitable loss in the intra-conference matchup between California and Arizona State. USC, which is hosting the event at Uytensu Aquatics Center, advanced to set up a bout with rival UCLA while top-seeded Stanford cruised into the semifinals vs. Cal.
Rachel Fattal and Alys Williams led their UCLA team with a hat trick apiece, and the second-ranked Bruins held off the UC San Diego Tritons, 12-8, to advance to the NCAA semifinals. UCLA led 5-1 at halftime and the only UCSD score in the first half came near the tail end of the first period on a power play as Bruins goalkeeper Sami Hill was ejected. Hill had 10 saves in more than three periods as UCLA built a 11-4 lead that was cut into during the closing minutes as UCSD's rally came too late.
Fattal with the hat trick, score 8-3 UCLA #nicehat
— UCLA Water Polo (@UCLAWaterPolo) May 9, 2014
And after all that, who better to face in the semifinal round than tournament host and rival USC? The Bruins and Trojans square off Saturday at 5:15 p.m. PT.
The Trojans traded blows with the UC Irvine Anteaters but all along remained in control. No. 3 seed USC scored the first two goals and led comfortably 11-6 heading into the fourth quarter before five late scores by the Anteaters cut into what would become the final 14-11 deficit. Ten different Trojans scored in the quarterfinal win, and USC's Monica Vavic led both teams with a hat trick on the afternoon.
The Trojans start this tournament strong defeating the Anteaters 14-11, Stanford-Indiana coming up next #NCAAwpolo
— USC Water Polo (@USCWaterPolo) May 9, 2014
The top-seeded Stanford Cardinal took it to the Indiana Hoosiers with an 18-2 victory in the quarterfinal round of the NCAA tournament. Though the Hoosiers took 29 shots to 28 for the Cardinal, it was Stanford that took advantage of the opportunities. It helped that the Cardinal scored on eight of nine power plays. Meanwhile, the Cardinal held strong against 11 Indiana power plays, only allowing the Hoosiers to score once in those situations. Kiley Neushul scored four goals and added two assists to lead Stanford, while Maggie Steffens and Annika Dries added three scores apiece.
— Stanford Water Polo (@Stanfordh2opolo) May 10, 2014
The Cardinal face the California Golden Bears at 3:30 p.m. PT on Saturday.
In the single matchup on Thursday between two Pac-12 teams, fourth-seeded Cal took down the fifth-seeded Arizona State Sun Devils 7-4. The Golden Bears were led by Roser Tarrago, who scored two goals, and Cal found enough scoring opportunities despite the Sun Devils allowing them just a single power play opportunity during the match. ASU got two scores from Liz Kreek but didn't have the firepower to keep up, having only 15 shots on the evening.
First NCAA Tournament win for the Bears since 2011. Another edition of the Big Splash tomorrow!
— Cal W Water Polo (@CalWWPolo) May 10, 2014
The Sun Devils face Indiana in the consolation bracket of the tournament at 1:45 p.m. PT on Saturday.