Stanford Water Polo
Courtesy of: Joon Baik
LOS ANGELES, California, May 10. THE defending champions from the University of Southern California had no trouble advancing through the quarterfinals of the NCAA women's water polo tournament Friday night. UCLA, Stanford and California also won their matches.

UCLA vs. UC-San Diego

Second-seeded UCLA advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA tournament on Friday afternoon with a 12-8 win against No. 7 UC San Diego at USC's Uytensu Aquatics Center. The Bruins improved to 26-4 while the Tritons dropped to 27-11. UCLA will face the winner of No. 3 USC and No. 6 UC Irvine in the second semifinal at 8:15 p.m. ET on Saturday.

UCLA was led by hat tricks from sophomores Rachel Fattal and Alys Williams. Alexis Wieseler and Sarah Lizotte each had hat tricks for UCSD.

Unlike this year's earlier meeting where the Bruins trailed at halftime to UCSD and pulled out a two-goal win, the Bruins jumped out to an early lead and never trailed.

Senior Becca Dorst got the Bruins on the board first with a power play goal at the 6:40 mark of the opening period off a feed from Williams. Dorst scored her second to give UCLA a 2-0 lead (5:23) off a nice pass from sophomore Kodi Hill. The Tritons ended the first quarter scoring with an exlusion goal by Julia Kirkland with :27 left when Bruin goalkeeper, redshirt junior Sami Hill, was ejected.

The Bruins dominated the second-period scoring three goals while holding UCSD scoreless. Fattal put the Bruins up 3-1 with a counter attack score (6:23). Williams made it 4-1 (4:01) with a counter score off a feed from freshman Mackenzie Barr. The pair connected again at the 1:50 mark with Barr assisting Williams for her second score to give the Bruins a 5-1 lead at the break.

UCSD opened the third period, scoring back-to-back power play goals. The first was scored by Jolene Guiliana to make it 5-2 (6:30) and the second was a 6-on-4 score by Alexis Wieseler with 5:23 left But the Bruins go a huge goal at set from sophomore India Forster (4:49) to double up the Tritons at 6-3. Fattal then went to work, scoring from the front court off an assist by Kodi Hill (3:33) and on a power play goal (assist by junior Danielle Ferraro) with 2:50 left to complete a hat trick and end the scoring in the third with UCLA leading 8-3.

In the fourth quarter, Barr got in on the scoring act with a goal from distance, giving the Bruins a 9-3 advantage with 7:30 to go. UCSD's Sarah Lizotte had an immediate answer (7:19), scoring the first goal at full strength for the Tritons. Williams then completed her hat trick off the third assist for Kodi Hill to put UCLA up 10-4 at the 5:47 mark. Freshman Aubrie Monahan extended the lead to 11-4 with a goal from the front court with 4:55 to go. The Bruins then made a change in the cage as sophomore Alex Musselman played the final 4:55 of the fourth quarter. UCSD scored back-to-back power play goals (Lizotte, 4:32 and Wieseler, 3:51) to trim UCLA's lead to 11-6. Wiesler completed a hat trick with 1:56 left to pull the Tritons to within four goals. But Monahan scored her second of the game to push the lead to 12-7 with :53 remaining. UCSD's Lizotte capped a hat trick and the scoring with a goal with :42 left to provide the final 12-8 margin.

Sami Hill ended with 10 saves, allowing four goals in just under three and a half periods in the cage for the Bruins. Musselman picked up one save in the final 4:55 of the fourth while allowing four scores.

Courtney Miller was credited with nine stops in goal for the Tritons.

USC vs. UC-Irvine
No. 3 seeded Southern California kicked off its home stand at the 2014 NCAA championships with a 14-11 win against No. 6 seed UC Irvine Friday at Uytengsu Aquatics Center. The defending national champions now pull into a semifinal bout against crosstown rival UCLA. The Trojans and the No. 2 seeded Bruins are set to tangle at 8:15 p.m. ET on Saturday in the NCAA Semifinals. USC takes a 25-3 overall record into the rivalry clash.

In Friday's quarterfinal matchup with No. 6 seed UC Irvine, the Women of Troy put their offensive balance on display. Ten different Trojans got to the back of the net in the game as USC created some comfortable distance between itself and the Anteaters. Olivia Cummins was the 10th on the day, punching up a 13-8 USC advantage midway through the fourth period. USC's top scorer on the day was Monica Vavic with a hat trick for the Trojan cause. She delivered the first strike for USC, breaking up an early stalemate when she finished off a pass from Kaleigh Gilchrist to nudge USC to a 1-0 lead. Ioanna Haralabidis delivered a blast on a USC power play in the final minute of the first frame to make it 2-0.

UC Irvine came up with the last word in the first, second and fourth periods of play, notching a goal with just 2 second to go in each of those frames, but it was USC's balance that prevailed down the stretch. After a 2-1 first period, USC rallied in the second. Vavid buried an early 5-meter penalty shot earned by Jayde Appel, and although UCI would net a 6-on-5 score next, the Trojans plugged in three consecutive goals to make their statement. Jennifer Stiefel, Eike Daube and Colleen O'Donnell finished off some nice ball movement to build a 6-2 lead on the Anteaters.

UCI cut back to within two to make it a 6-4 halftime score, only to see the Women of Troy kick down the door in the third period. Gilchrist, Appel and Vavic scored a minute apart from one another to heft the Trojans to a 9-4 lead. By the end of the frame, that five-goal margin was intact, thanks to a cool counterattack finish from Madeline Rosenthal and a Daube strike off a Stephania Haralabidis feed. USC goalie Flora Bolonyai would haul in a save at the buzzer to deny the Anteaters another late-frame goal, and USC was up 11-6 entering the fourth. There, the Anteaters were able to wrangle some scores, but the Trojans stayed strong as Stephania Haralabidis hit the back of the net twice and Cummins joined the fun to help USC wrap up an eventual 14-11 victory.

Stanford vs. Indiana

Kiley Neushul scored four times to pace top-seeded Stanford to an 18-2 win against No. 8 Indiana in Friday's National Collegiate championship quarterfinal at Uytengsu Aquatics Center in Los Angeles.

Neushul was one of 10 Cardinal goal scorers as Stanford (23-1) advanced to Saturday's 6:30 p.m. ET semifinal round, where it will face California.

Along with Neushul's four goals, Annika Dries and Maggie Steffens netted hat tricks with three goals each, Kaitlyn Lo scored twice while Kaley Dodson, Ashley Grossman, Dani Jackovich, Kaitlyn Lo, Sophia Monaghan, Kelsey Suggs and Anna Yelizarova scored a goal apiece. The Cardinal got seven goals in the third period to help put Indiana (23-6) away.

"I don't think we overlooked them at all. There are only three games left, and they've beaten some very good teams in the east," junior two-meter Ashley Grossman said. "We came out knowing their main shooters and knowing that they'd be very physical on offense. Our 5-on-6 and execution on most of the opportunities we were given helped us prevail."

Stanford took control early on as Neushul powered home the game's opening goal on the 6-on-5 after just 51 seconds. Dries also scored on the 6-on-5, this one coming with 3:44 to go in the frame as the power play would become a deciding factor in the contest for the Cardinal, which converted eight of its nine extra-attacker opportunities Friday. Stanford also scored on its only five-meter penalty attempt as Neushul cashed in the opportunity.

"I thought we were very efficient with our opportunities," Stanford head coach John Tanner said. "The real story of the game was the 5-on-6. [We were 8-for-9 and] they were I think 1-for-12."

Maggie Steffens put the Cardinal up 3-0 with 2:42 left in the period before Candyce Schroeder got Indiana on the board at the 1:21 mark. Schroeder would account for both Hoosier goals Friday, but her second would not come until 5:15 remained in the third period, as the Cardinal went on an 8-0 run to essentially put the game away.

The Cardinal defense continued its stifling play throughout, holding the Hoosiers to just one power-play goal over 12 chances. Sophomore Malena Masson highlighted the defensive effort late in the third period, getting good lift out of the water to steal a Hoosier pass and snuff out Indiana's 6-on-4 opportunity.

"We played really scrappy defense. We were active and made a lot of blocks and won a lot of loose balls," Tanner noted. "I'm really happy with that, and really happy that that one's done."

Goalie Gabby Stone started and made eight saves over three periods of work before giving way to Emily Dorst, who stopped four shots and did not concede a goal.

"They were a very physical team and they tested us on the post-up defense," Kaitlyn Lo said. "We're just excited for any challenge that comes our way."

Lo's goal with 10 seconds left in the first period opened the Cardinal's eight-goal run, which was continued with four second-period goals from Grossman, Neushul, Kaley Dodson and Steffens. Stanford would wear down Indiana in the third period to the tune of seven goals, including four over a span of just 2:21.

California vs. Arizona State

California scored four of the first five goals and shut down Arizona State's offense the rest of the way in a 7-4 victory in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championships at USC's Uytengsu Aquatics Center on Friday night.

MPSF Newcomer of the Year Dora Antal scored on the first possession of the game and junior Kelly McKee added another goal later in the first quarter to give Cal a quick lead. After the Sun Devils (15-11) cut the deficit to 2-1, the Bears got goals from freshman Roser Tarrago and Emily Loughlin to make it 4-1 with 5:12 left in the second period.

The teams then traded goals the rest of the game, with each only scoring once in the second half.

Tarrago finished with two goals.

The Bears have reached the 20-win mark for the first time since 2011 and fourth time in head coach Richard Corso's tenure at Cal. The Bears are playing in their third NCAA Championships.

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