UCLA women’s water polo has seen an increase in 6-on-5 conversions this past weekend, which has translated to increased offense productivity.
Already through nine games so far this season, the No. 4 Bruins (9-0) have shown progression through their counterattack opportunities converting 14-32 in the past four games. UCLA is converting slightly under half of 6-on-5 opportunities into goals on the season as a whole.
UCLA is outscoring all opponents 107-43 in its nine games so far this season. The Bruins offensive productivity is slightly lower than last season’s totals, when they were undefeated after nine games and outscored opponents 128-21.
The Bruins have found recent success in their young roster – the underclassman account for 55 of the 107 goals on the season thus far.
“We are still constantly changing the lineups and constantly looking at different groups. I need to make sure we get everyone as much experience as possible because that is where we are lacking,” said coach Adam Wright. “It is more about putting each player in a situation to learn and understand a given situation and more importantly to gain confidence.”
The Bruins’ emphasis in training in the last couple of weeks has been on the importance of converting on power play advantages.
“I think our offense comes when we have a great counterattack,” said sophomore attacker Emily Skelly. We have really tried to work on our counterstructure. Once we nailed that down I think it was a lot easier for us to score on the offensive end.”
Skelly added coming out of defensive possessions is key to getting the counter.
The center position has been a crucial component for UCLA to score on the offense end. Senior center Alexis Angermund, and junior centers Hannah Zari and Sarah Sheldon have a combined a total of 10 goals.
Although the Bruins showed signs of progression throughout the weekend, the focus still remains the same for next week’s invitational.
“I still think we will be pretty hard on our counterstructure,” Skelly said. “Getting down to the 2-meter line and getting down to our 3-3.”
Junior goalkeeper Carlee Kapana added that the team still has some fundamental aspects to work on.
“We need to talk to each other more on defense and offense, we just need to tell each other what is going on and if we need help back on the center,” Kapana said.