LOS ANGELES -- 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.
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.