NCAA Women's Water Polo: Stanford Upsets National Champs UCLA, 9-4 -- February 11, 2002
PALO ALTO, CA., Feb. 10. THE venue was the same, the teams were the same but the outcome was decidedly different.
Stanford's women's water polo team, losers here last May to UCLA in the championship match of the inaugural NCAA Final Four in their new Avery Aquatic Center, made sure the Bruins wouldn't make it two in a row this afternoon as the Cardinal cruised to a 9-4 victory over the Bruins in the finals of the Stanford Invitational Tournament.
Stanford and UCLA reached the finals by winning two games Saturday during pool play, then each won its semi-final match this morning -- Stanford topping U Cal Santa Barbara, the Bruins defeating San Jose State.
On the finale, Stanford jumped out to a 3-0 lead, taking advantage of two Bruin ejections. Ellen Estes, Brenda Villa and Julie Gardner scored consecutive goals for the victors.
Stanford held on to a 4-2 halftime lead before Margie Dingeldein found the net to put the Cardinal up, 5-2, in the third quarter. Following a Bruin goal, Stanford rattled off four additional scores -- a pair by Villa and one each by Kate Pettit and Kelty Luber) -- to increase its lead to 9-3 with two minutes remaining in the match.
The Bruins added a late goal to round out the scoring. UCLA freshman Amber Stachowski, who scored four goals against UC Irvine in the Bruins' season-opener Thursday in Westwood, scored three of UCLA's four goals today.
Goalie Jackie Frank recorded six saves in the net for Stanford, which is now 4-0 for the season. UCLA is 4-1.
In other action, USC defeated California, 7-5, to take third-place in the tournament while San Jose State took fifth with a 6-5 win over U Cal Davis. UC Santa Barbara scored a 5-1 victory over Massachusetts to
wind up seventh.
A Mountain Pacific Sports Federation rematch is in the offing Sunday, March 3 at UCLA's Sunset Canyon Recreation Center Pool.
The Cardinal will be idle next weekend, then travel to UC Santa Barbara the following weekend to compete in the Gaucho Tournament.
-- Bill Bell
1 2 3 4 F
Stanford 3 1 1 4 9
UCLA 0 2 1 1 4
Stanford: Villa 3, Dingeldein 2, Estes, Gardner, Luber, Pettit.
UCLA: Stachowski 3, Lopez.