Cardinal Falls In Semifinals
LOS ANGELES - One month ago, defending NCAA champion Stanford stood at 1-3 overall while having lost three games by a combined eight points.
Five straight wins followed, highlighted by an unprecedented third consecutive MPSF title, resulting in the Cardinal earning the No. 1 seed at this weekend's NCAA Championships. Stanford accomplished all of that despite reporting back to campus on Jan. 4 and starting its regular season two weeks later than its peers.
But in the ultra-competitive MPSF, UCLA did just enough to stay one step ahead and edge Stanford 11-10 on Saturday afternoon in the semifinals.
Tyler Abramson scored a game-high four goals to increase his team lead, including his final tally that evened the game at 10-10 with 1:43 remaining.
UCLA's Tommy Gruwell put home the game-winner 30 seconds later to secure the win for UCLA (8-7, 5-5 MPSF), which defeated Stanford for the third time in four meetings this season.
The Bruins held a slim 27-25 shot advantage but were 8-10 on power play opportunities.
AJ Rossman contributed two goals for the Cardinal, which also received scores from Andrew Churukian, Beck Jurasius, Ethan Parrish and Quinn Woodhead.
Woodhead and Larsen Weigle each finished with two assists. Andrew Chun recorded eight saves in goal.
Tied 2-2, the Bruins scored six of the next nine goals to take an 8-5 lead into halftime. The Cardinal remained within striking distance over the final two periods but could not get over the hump after Abramson's fourth goal tied the match at 10-10.
Making its 34th all-time NCAA appearance, Stanford was seeking its 12th NCAA title in school history.
Stanford was represented on the All-Tournament Team with Abramson (first team), Rossman (second team) and Woodhead (second team).
Meanwhile, Weigle was named the recipient of the NCAA Elite 90 Award, maintaining a 3.964 GPA in Management Science and Engineering. The NCAA Elite 90 is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA's championships. Eligible student-athletes are sophomores or above who have participated in their sport for at least two years with their school. All ties are broken by the number of credits completed.