Tuesday, September 18

Women’s water polo defeats Arizona State in MPSF championship quarterfinals


Sophomore attacker Maddie Musselman earned her seventh hat trick of the season in UCLA's 14-4 win over Arizona State. (Axel Lopez/Daily Bruin)

Sophomore attacker Maddie Musselman earned her seventh hat trick of the season in UCLA's 14-4 win over Arizona State. (Axel Lopez/Daily Bruin)


Thanks to UCLA’s Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championship Tournament quarterfinal win against Arizona State, the Bruins will get a third chance to take down the Trojans.

No. 4 seed UCLA women’s water polo conquered No. 5 seed Arizona State by a score of 14-4 in its first game of the MPSF Championship Tournament in Berkeley on Friday. With that win, UCLA secured a place in the semifinals against No. 1 seed USC on Saturday.

The Bruins took control early and lead throughout the game. Sophomore attacker Maddie Musselman, UCLA’s highest-scoring attacker, earned her seventh hat trick of the season. Junior attacker Lizette Rozeboom, sophomore attacker Bronte Halligan and freshman attacker Lexi Liebowitz each recorded multiple goals as well.

The Bruins opened the scoring with five straight goals. By the end of the first quarter, UCLA was up 6-2. At the end of the first half, the Bruins were leading by 5, with a score of 8-3. Arizona’s fourth and final goal of the game came in the third quarter, while UCLA continued to score into the final minutes of the game, making the final score 14-4. The Sun Devils’ loss earned them a matchup against the No. 6 seed San Jose State Spartans on Saturday.

The Bruins first faced the Trojans this season at UC San Diego’s Triton Invitational. With a final score of 6-4, USC gave UCLA its first loss of the season. The UCLA’s second crosstown matchup of the 2018 season was last weekend, when the Bruins traveled to face the Trojans and again fell by a score of 11-5.

The last time the Bruins beat the Trojans was last season. UCLA not only took the MPSF conference title that year, but also advanced beyond USC in the 2017 NCAA championships.

USC and No. 2 seed California each had byes on Friday and were automatically placed in day two matchups. No. 3 seed Stanford won its game against San Jose State on Friday, placing the Cardinal in a semifinal game as well.

The winners of the USC-UCLA and California-Stanford matchups will play each other on Sunday for the conference title. The Bruins have not managed to beat the Cardinal in 2018, but have split their two meetings with the Golden Bears 1-1.

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