With 11 wins on its record, UCLA women’s water polo refuses to concentrate on one loss, said freshman attacker Rachel Fattal.
This past weekend, UCLA attended the Stanford Invitational, a tournament it has participated in since 2000.
The Bruins lost in the final game of the tournament against the Cardinal. UCLA has not beaten its Mountain Pacific Sports Federation rival, Stanford, in the host’s tournament since the 2003-04 season. Stanford has won its home tournament four years in a row.
Freshman defender Alys Williams attributed Stanford’s win in the final game not to the Cardinal having more skill than the Bruins, but to a capitalization on their mistakes. UCLA lost its lead after scoring only one goal in the second half.
“We let (Stanford) … get away from us more than they outplayed us,” Williams said.
Fattal also added that as tough as a loss is, it might be a good experience for the Bruins. It would give the women perspective on improvements and the ability to push through to their next game.
Their next game, however, will not require as much travel as the last 12 games have. UCLA will be playing in its first home game on Saturday. With such a young squad, this will be the first game in Spieker Aquatics Center for one–third of the team.
Fattal said that the team’s positivity and ability to work together makes them ready for anything.
“We know what we need to do,” Fattal said about their upcoming game.
Williams talked about the freshmen for UCLA who contributed to multiple hat tricks throughout the tournament. Williams, usually a defender, was also able to score a hat trick in the game against Hawai’i.
“Our attitude during the tournament was positive the entire time,” Williams said. “It was cool to see us grow (as a team) each game.”
While staying positive, Fattal refuses to let one tournament loss dictate the rest of the team’s season. The Bruins will get another shot against the Cardinal during MPSF play, and Fattal said that she hopes the team will have learned from past experience.
“It gives us a goal to achieve this year,” Fattal said.
Compiled by Stephanie Plese, Bruin Sports contributor.