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No. 4 Bears Edged By No. 2 UCLA, 9-8

Mar 5, 2022
Junior Cecily Turner led the Bears with three goals against UCLA.

BERKELEY – The No. 4 Cal women's water polo team couldn't convert on two shots in the final seconds and fell to No. 2 UCLA 9-8 in an MPSF showdown on Saturday at Spieker Aquatics Complex.

The Bears (11-2, 0-2 MPSF), playing in their first game since Feb. 19 due to health and safety protocols within the program, went toe-to-toe with the Bruins until the final horn. Junior goalie Isabel Williams made a career-high 18 saves – including a stop on a penalty shot – while junior attacker Cecily Turner had three goals.

"These are the adverse moments where you really want to come through and shine," Cal head coach Coralie Simmons said. "I don't think we played our best, but at the same time that's also encouraging. I was proud of how we battled. We've been battling quite a bit the past few weeks."

Cal never held the lead against UCLA but also never trailed by more than two goals. After the Bruins took a 5-3 advantage early in the third quarter, goals by junior Shea Salvino and Turner knotted the score with 1:46 remaining in the period. The teams then exchanged goals the rest of the way, with UCLA netting the eventual game-winner with exactly one minute remaining in the game.

Senior Elli Protopapas added two goals for the Bears while freshman Rozanne Voorvelt registered two assists.

"This team is up for some big things this year. We want to be able to take all of the adversity and still come out on top," Simmons said. "As we move forward, we are going to continue to pay respect to the importance of functioning well as a team. I'm encouraged as we put together a few more weeks and move into the rest of the season."

Cal was whistled for 13 exclusions while UCLA had five, but the Bears held the Bruins to just 3-for-11 on the power play.

The Bears continue MPSF play next Saturday when they host No. 12 San Jose State at Spieker Aquatics Complex.