WESTWOOD, February 21. IN a hard-fought battle between the two cross-town rivals, the No. 2-ranked UCLA Bruin women's water polo squad was unable to come out on top against the Women of Troy here this afternoon.
In UCLA's home opener at the Bruins' Sunset Canyon Recreation Center pool on a picture-perfect afternoon, the home team opened the game with two quick goals against the No. 3 ranked Trojans. But UCLA saw its lead evaporate in the second quarter and was forced to play catch-up the rest of the game.
Robin Beauregard put the Bruins on the board first with a penalty shot with 4:56 remaining in the first quarter. Freshman Kelly Rulon then added another goal to make it 2-0 in favor of UCLA going into the final minute of the first-quarter.
With but 28 seconds left, USC answered to pull within one goal. In the second-quarter the Trojans scored twice to make the score 3-2 before another Beauregard goal tied it at 3-3.
However, USC again scored with less than a minute remaining to take a 4-3 lead at halftime. After USC scored early in the third quarter, a Jessica Lopez goal brought the Bruins to within one at 5-4; but USC again countered the Bruins' efforts with two more goals of their own to make it 7-4 heading into the final period.
Though goals from Natalie Golda and Lopez in the fourth would get the Bruins to within striking distance, it wasn't enough as USC was able to hold off UCLA for the 8-6 victory.
Beauregard and Lopez led the Bruin scoring effort with two goals each. Rulon and Golda both scored once. Mariah Van Norman led the Trojans with three goals. Sofia Konoukh and Katrin Dierolf each scored twice and Eszter Gyori added one goal.
WOMEN'S NCAA DIVISION 1 WATER POLO
UCLA VS. USC
FEB.- 21, 2003
SUNSET CANYON RECREATION CENTER POOL
UCLA – Jessica Lopez 2, Robin Beauregard 2, Natalie Golda 1, Kelly Rulon 1
USC – Mariah Van Norman 3, Sofia Konoukh 2, Katrin Dierolf 2, Eszter Gyori 1
UCLA – Jaime Hipp 3
USC – Kelly Graff 7