April 29, 2012
MPSF Championship Central
STANFORD, Calif. - Seeking its first MPSF Championship since 2006, top-seeded Stanford fell just short of that goal, dropping an 8-7 overtime decision to No. 2 UCLA Sunday at Avery Aquatic Center.
The Cardinal (23-2), which is expected to receive one of the two at-large berths into the National Collegiate Women's Water Polo Championship, will find out for certain Monday, April 30 at 5 p.m. on the Selection Show on www.ncaa.com.
The 2012 National Collegiate Championship is set for Friday to Sunday, May 11-13, at San Diego State's Aztec Aquaplex.
The loss also snapped Stanford's 37-game home winning streak at Avery Aquatic Center. The Cardinal's last home loss was back on Feb. 7 when it suffered a 12-10 overtime loss to USC.
Sunday's MPSF Championship Game was tied seven times and featured seven lead changes as neither team ever led by more than a goal. Each goalie, Kate Baldoni for Stanford and Caitlin Dement for UCLA, made 12 saves, but it was Dement who made the final one off a shot from Kaley Dodson with five seconds remaining to preserve the win for the Bruins.
In the first overtime period, it would be UCLA's KK Clark who netted the lone goal of extra time, scoring with 46 seconds left. The teams would play a scoreless second overtime period, culminating in Dement's save of Dodson's final shot.
Stanford had fought back with a pair of goals from Dodson in the fourth period, the first coming just 13 seconds into the frame and the second with 3:53 remaining. However, UCLA would equalize on the 6-on-5 as Becca Dorst scored her third goal of the day with 2:42 remaining.
Both defenses would clamp down for the rest of the period, with each team unable to get a shot off over the final 16 seconds on their final possessions of regulation.
The teams opened the game with furious displays of offense, combining for five goals in the first period alone. Trailing 2-1, the Cardinal jumped in front by a goal after Kiley Neushul
scored her second goal and Kaitlyn Lo
fired home from the perimeter with 52 seconds left in the frame.
The teams traded goals in the second period, with UCLA netting the first two thanks to Clark and Sarah Orozco to go in front before the Cardinal leapfrogged back into the lead with power-play goals from Pallavi Menon and Ashley Grossman, the last one coming 10 seconds before halftime.
Hannah Sebenaler and Dorst scored for the Bruins in the third period, as the UCLA defense kept the Cardinal off the board over the eight minutes.
UCLA - 2 2 2 1 1-0 = 8
Stanford - 3 2 0 2 0-0 = 7
Stanford Goal Scorers: K. Dodson 2, Neushul 2, Grossman, K. Lo, Menon
UCLA Goal Scorers: Dorst 3, Clark 2, Orozco 2, Sebenaler
Goalie Saves: Baldoni 12 (S); Dement 12 (UCLA)