Rachel Fattal leads UCLA past Cal; Bruins clinch 10th trip to title game
PALO ALTO, Calif. -- Rachel Fattal scored three goals to lead UCLA past California 9-5 in the NCAA tournament semifinals on Saturday afternoon at Avery Aquatic Center.
Kodi Hill and Alys Williams each netted two goals for the Bruins (26-2), who will play in the NCAA tournament’s title match on Sunday against Stanford at 8:30 p.m. ET.
The Bruins, who improved to 3-0 against California this season, have earned their 10th trip to the tournament’s title match in the 15-year history of the women’s water polo NCAA tournament.
UCLA led throughout the semifinal match, securing a 2-0 lead after one quarter and a 4-1 advantage by halftime.
Williams scored the game’s first goal, finding the back of the cage at the 4:17 mark in the opening quarter. Fattal followed, scoring with 1:32 to play in the first period.
The Bruins pushed their lead to three goals on a no-look shot from two-meters from Hill with 4:12 to play before halftime. India Forster’s goal at the 3:10 mark in the second frame gave UCLA a 4-0 lead. California got on the board with a goal from Tarrago with 2:39 left before intermission.
California reduced the Bruins’ lead to 4-3 midway through the third quarter. The Golden Bears received consecutive goals from Kindred Paul (6:11) and Antal (3:57) before the Bruins responded with a pair of goals to close the third quarter.
Fattal registered her second goal of the day at the 3:28 mark in the third frame before Hill netted her second goal of the match with 2:25 to play in the third quarter.
UCLA outscored California by a 3-2 margin in the fourth quarter, pushing its lead to as many as five goals (8-3 and 9-4) late in the final period.