The UCLA women’s water polo team did something its male counterparts could not Saturday.
The No. 4 Bruins (20-5, 3-3 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation) took down the rival No. 3 USC Women of Troy (15-5, 3-3) in a 7-5 victory at Spieker Aquatics Center.
UCLA avenged its two earlier losses this season by claiming its first triumph over USC this year.
The Bruins struck first when senior center Grace Reynolds converted an exclusion goal. The Women of Troy matched the Bruin goal with one of their own on the last play of the first quarter while they had a 6-5 advantage, tying the game at 1-1.
UCLA exhibited lockdown defense in the second quarter, shutting out their opponents while netting two goals to take a 3-1 advantage at halftime.
Senior attacker Priscilla Orozco scored with 6:55 left in the first half as junior utility KK Clark also reached the back of the net with 1:53 left, her 36th goal of the year.
UCLA capitalized on a power play as Reynolds scored her second of the day, and the team’s second goal on a power play.
Orozco, not to be outdone by Reynolds, also scored to push the Bruins to a three-goal lead over the Trojans. Orozco scored on a penalty shot giving her a team-leading 46 goals on the season thus far.
Despite falling behind throughout the third quarter, USC fought on to close out the quarter strong with two goals to bring the score to 5-4.
The Trojans continued their run to tie the game up at 5-5 with 6:21 left in the game. But 31 seconds later, Reynolds answered with a goal of her own on the Bruins’ next possession. Not content with a hat trick, Reynolds scored her fourth goal with 4:43 left on the clock to push the Bruin lead to 7-5 during another power play in favor of the Bruins.
Junior goalkeeper Caitlin Dement had four saves on the game including a crucial stop on a penalty shot with 2:31 left in the game.
Compiled by Chris Nguyen, Bruin Sports contributor.