The Bruins’ comeback had the Trojans on the ropes. But in the end, it was one goal short.
The UCLA women’s water polo team fell to USC for the second time this year in the semifinals of the UC Irvine Invitational and proceeded to take third place in the tournament.
The No. 3 Bruins (16-3) took down No. 5 Hawai’i (6-4) in the third-place match on Sunday afternoon after falling to the No. 2 Trojans (9-2) earlier in the day.
USC mounted a three-goal lead after the first quarter and extended that lead to four going into the fourth.
That’s when UCLA found some life. Three unanswered goals in the final frame had the Bruins within striking distance, but the Trojans held off the comeback and escaped with a 9-8 win.
UCLA has failed to beat USC in the regular season in each of the last three seasons. The last Bruin win in the rivalry matchup came in the 2010 MPSF Tournament.
In the second game Sunday, UCLA had to go up against Hawai’i for the third time this year.
The two teams had split their first two meetings after a Rainbow Wahine win at Spieker Aquatics Center on Thursday, but the Bruins were able to pull away with a one-goal win, 7-6, in the rubber match.
Senior attacker Priscilla Orozco continued her torrid scoring streak by scoring in all four games of the two-day invitational.
Orozco, who had five goals in the match against USC, has scored in every game this year.
Freshman goalkeeper Sami Hill was thrust into meaningful action for the first time all year at the invitational. Hill came on in relief of starting junior goalkeeper Caitlin Dement at halftime of the Bruins’ 14-4 opening-round win over No. 17 UC Davis on Saturday and continued to play the entirety of the remaining three matches.
Compiled by Ryan Menezes, Bruin Sports senior staff.