NCAA women's water polo tournament: Stanford, UCLA punch tickets to championship match
The 2014 NCAA women's water polo tournament has gone exactly as projected so far, but there will be one more chance for an upset on Sunday when top-seeded Stanford will play second seed UCLA for the championship at 5:30 p.m. PT. Here's how the Pac-12 teams faired on Saturday at the Uytensu Aquatics Center in Los Angeles.
After falling to California on Friday, the Arizona State Sun Devils regrouped in the consolation bracket to drop the Indiana Hoosiers by a 13-9 score, earning a Sunday berth in the fifth-place game. Izabella Chiappini scored four goals for ASU and added two assists, and goalkeeper E.B. Keeve had a busy afternoon. Keeve recorded 20 saves, a school record for a regulation game.
And the Sun Devils earn their first postseason victory in program history! 13-9 is your final. ASU will take on... http://t.co/bfzp8sSKIJ
— ASU Water Polo (@ASUWATERPOLO) May 10, 2014
Fifth-seeded Arizona State faces sixth-seeded UC Irvine at 1:45 p.m. PT on Sunday.
Top-seeded Stanford got more push-back from its Saturday semifinal opponent than it did Friday in an 18-2 win against Indiana. The California Golden Bears came out aggressively but couldn't maintain the advantage in a 12-8 defeat at the hands of the Cardinal. Maggie Steffens led Stanford with a hat trick and helped her team overcome a 3-2 Cal lead after the first quarter.
— Stanford Water Polo (@Stanfordh2opolo) May 10, 2014
Cal was led by Roser Tarrago, who scored four goals and got the Golden Bears off to a fast start with two goals just more than a minute apart in the heart of the first quarter. The fourth-seeded Golden Bears end their season Sunday at 3:30 p.m. PT, when they'll fight for third place against third-seeded USC.
The UCLA Bruins punched their ticket to the championship game on Sunday night with a 5-3 win over rival and host USC in the final match of Saturday's action. MacKenzie Barr scored two goals and Kodi Hill added a goal and an assist in the low-scoring battle. After Hill and Barr scored the first two goals for the Bruins, USC came back with two goals from Monica Vavic before UCLA responded, scoring twice in the final 3:33 of the first half then holding the Trojans to a single goal in the second half.
— UCLA Water Polo (@UCLAWaterPolo) May 11, 2014
USC had 26 shots on the goal but couldn't crack the Bruins to get good shots on the goal. All three of USC's scores were unassisted, and the Trojans couldn't convert on their four power play opportunities.