IRVINE, Calif. — No. 3 UCLA won the UC Irvine Invitational championship match with a 5-4 victory against No. 1 Stanford, handing the Cardinal its first loss of the season.
The Bruins (12-1) advanced to the title match earlier in the day by defeating No. 2 USC 8-7 scoring four goals in the final quarter to overcome a 7-4 deficit.
In the evening win against Stanford (11-1), KK Clark totaled two goals for UCLA, while Emily Greenwood, Sarah Orozco and Natasha Schulman each scored one goal.
“These were great wins for our team this weekend,” head coach Brandon Brooks said. “This is the reward for hard work. I’m very happy how this team fought and competed for everything. It wasn’t pretty at times, but it’s a good taste of success.”
Clark broke a 4-4 tie with 7:03 remaining in the fourth quarter on a five-meter penalty shot against Stanford. The Bruins’ defense clamped down the rest of the way, holding the Cardinal scoreless on their final two 6-on-5 opportunities.
Senior goalkeeper Caitlin Dement tallied 14 saves in the cage for the Bruins.
Each team scored one goal in the first and second quarters, entering halftime knotted at 2-2. After three quarters, the score was tied, 4-4.
“Every team goes away from the Stanford Invitational [two weeks ago] having been tested to see where they are,” Brooks said. “The goal is to improve the most over the next few weeks. I’m not sure we improved the most of any team, but we have been working very hard and our girls are very dedicated.”
Against crosstown rival USC, UCLA trailed by a 7-4 margin after three quarters before scoring four unanswered goals in the final period to earn the 8-7 win.
Greenwood scored four goals against the Women of Troy, including the game-winning score with 14 seconds to play in the fourth quarter. Sebenaler tied the match, 7-7, with a goal at the 3:07 mark in the final period.
Dement logged 14 saves in the cage against USC.