No. 6 Bears Edged By No. 2 UCLA, 9-8
LOS ANGELES – Junior Elli Protopapas recorded a hat trick and the No. 6 Cal women's water polo team played No. 2 UCLA evenly until the final moments before ultimately falling 9-8 on Sunday at Spieker Aquatics Center.
The Bears (5-2, 0-2 MPSF) matched up well with the Bruins after losing 11-5 to UCLA on Saturday. Cal held the lead for over half the game and never trailed by more than one goal. The Bears led 4-2 at halftime and 5-3 midway through the third quarter before UCLA came back to tie it.
Protopapas' final goal put the Bears back in front 7-6 early in the fourth quarter, but the Bruins scored two in a row to go in front for the first time since midway through the first period. Cal sophomore Shea Salvino tied the game at 8-8 with 3:41 to play, but UCLA registered the game-winner at the 1:03 mark of the fourth quarter.
Cal had one final chance to tie the game on a power play, but a shot by Brigit Mulder was stopped by UCLA goalie Jahmea Bent and the Bruins ran out the clock.
Freshman Reagan Whitney added two goals for the Bears while senior goalie Cassidy Ball made eight saves.
The Bears are back in action next weekend when they host No. 1 USC on Saturday and Sunday at Spieker Aquatics Complex.