IRVINE, Calif. – No. 2 Stanford suffered its first loss of the 2014 campaign Sunday morning, falling 9-6 to No. 3 UCLA in the UCI Invitational semifinals, before bouncing back to beat No. 4 California, 14-8, to take third at the tournament in Irvine.
The Cardinal (10-1) returns to the Bay Area for next weekend’s action, visiting San Jose State for a 12 p.m. matchup Saturday, March 1.
UCLA surprised the Cardinal in the morning with a four-goal opening period, jumping out to a 4-2 lead after the opening eight minutes. Two more goals for the Bruins in the second frame against just one for the Cardinal made it 6-3 at the break.
Stanford looked to be seizing the momentum in the opening minutes of the second half as Kaley Dodson and Ashley Grossman each scored to pull Stanford within one at 6-5 with 5:22 left in the third, prompting a UCLA timeout.
The timeout worked to the Bruins’ advantage, as UCLA reeled off three straight goals from Becca Dorst, Alexa Tielmann and Mackenzie Barr to go up 9-5 by the beginning of the fourth period. Stanford could only manage a goal from Malena Masson with just under three minutes to play, and suffered its first defeat.
In the afternoon the Cardinal offense came out firing with five goals in the opening eight minutes. Maggie Steffens led the Cardinal with four in the game as Stanford built a 9-5 halftime lead. Anna Yelizarova also posted a hat trick with Grossman and Jamie Neushul each scoring twice.
Five more second-half goals helped the Cardinal keep the Golden Bears at bay, and goalie Gabby Stone, who made eight saves, anchored the defensive effort that limited California to just three goals in the second half.
UCLA – 4 2 2 1 = 9
Stanford – 2 1 2 1 = 6
Stanford Goal Scorers: Grossman 2, K. Dodson, Dries, Masson, J. Neushul
UCLA Goal Scorers: Dorst 2, Fattal 2, Barr, Donohoe, Ferraro, Hill, Tielmann
Goalie Saves: Stone 7 (S); Hill 11 (UCLA)
California – 3 2 2 1 = 8
Stanford – 5 4 2 3 = 14
Stanford Goal Scorers: Steffens 4, Yelizarova 3, Grossman 2, J. Neushul 2, K. Dodson, Jackovich, K. Neushul
California Goal Scorers: Illes 2, Tarrago 2, Antal, Williams, Young
Goalie Saves: Stone 8 (S); Trabucco 4 (C)