UCLA Wins MPSF Championship

UCLA's Spieker Aquatics Center is the site of the 2017 MPSF Women's Water Polo Championship Tournament
April 30, 2017

MPSF Championship Tournament

Friday-Sunday; April 28-30

Host: UCLA

Spieker Aquatics Center; Los Angeles, CA

Tournament Central

Live Tournament Video Stream (Flo Swimming)

MPSF Women's Water Polo Final Regular Season Standings & Tournament Schedule

MPSF Women's Water Polo Release 15

Friday, Apr. 28 (Quarterfinals)

Game 1-- No. 2 seed Stanford 14, No. 7 seed CSU Bakersfield 2

Recap by Stanford

LOS ANGELES - Maggie Steffens scored four times, Katie Dudley tallied her third hat trick of the season and No. 2 Stanford beat No. 22 CSU Bakersfield 14-2 to open its MPSF Tournament on Friday morning. The Cardinal advances to tomorrow's semifinals, where it will play the winner of No. 3 USC and No. 14 San Jose State at 12:45 p.m.

Stanford scored the game's first seven goals, including three in the second quarter from Steffens. The game started when Makenzie Fischer hit Madison Berggren with a cross pass so the lefty could easily finish (6:58). On the restart after a foul moments later, Fischer fed Dani Jackovich, who one-touched the ball back to Fischer for the goal (6:05).

Steffens tallied her first at 5:24 on a cross-cage strike and at 3:43 Stanford went on the counter after a Fischer steal and the freshman scored her second of the day. Katie Dudley drew an exclusion and converted herself in the 6-on-5 (1:34) to put the Cardinal up 5-0 after one period.

The second quarter was all Steffens, who scored the first three of four Cardinal goals in the frame. She picked off a pass, raced down the pool and was rewarded by Jackovich at 7:00, took a Fischer pass and scored after Jackovich drew an exclusion at 6:23 and answered a CSUB goal with her fourth of the game at 4:12.

Jada Helberg notched Bakersfield's second goal with 3:08 remaining until halftime, but Kat Klass beat Courtney Wahlstrom to the near post on the Cardinal's next possession and Stanford led 9-2 at the break.

Cassidy Wiley fed Katie Dudley at two meters late in the third quarter (2:37) for the only goal either side scored in that period.

Stanford tacked on four more in the fourth from Jackovich (6:45), Hannah Shabb (5:40), Dudley (4:02) and Sophia Monaghan (0:32). The final score from Dudley secured the junior her third hat trick of the season.

Gabby Stone played the first quarter in the cage and made a pair of saves. Julia Hermann took care of the final three quarters and made two stops of her own.

Game 2-- No. 3 seed USC 17, No. 6 seed San Jose State 2

Recap by USC

WESTWOOD, CALIF. -- The No. 3 USC water polo team was decisive in securing a noter semifinal spot at the MPSF Tournament, rattling off 11 straight goals out of the gates en route to a 17-2 victory over No. 14 San José State today in Westwood. The quarterfinal win saw 12 different Trojans hit the back of the net, led by senior captain Avery Peterson's three-goal day. The win puts USC at 27-2 overall and carries the Trojans on to tomorrow's 12:45 p.m. semifinal against No. 2 Stanford at UCLA's Spieker Aquatics Center.

USC's balance was on full display in the first half as the Trojans rendered the Spartans scoreless while piling up 10 goals. Brianna Daboub opened the day's offensive explosion with a goal on USC's first possession, and after a Hayley McKelvey steal it was Maud Megens with the rifle shot not 15 seconds later for a 2-0 advantage. The Trojans would keep their foot on the gas as four more Trojans tacked up scores in the first frame. In the second, McKelvey became the first Trojan to score a second goal, and Avery Peterson followed in her footsteps minutes later after a 6-on-5 earned by Brigitta Games. Her hat trick would be complete with a solo mission at set to make it 9-0 before freshman Denise Mammolito capped the half's scoring with a skip off the counter to make it a 10-0 USC lead at the break.

The Trojans kept firing in the third when Stephania Haralabidis finished off a counterattack to start and then Megens hammered home her second goal to make it 12-0. San José State broke its silence with a skipper that made its way through with 5:24 on the clock to get on the board at 12-1. Goalie Victória Chamorro squashed a Spartan close-range shot next -- one of her 10 saves on the day -- and then Peterson found fellow senior Nikki Stansfield for a rocket that got USC back on track, up 13-1. Two new Trojan scorers would get in on the action in the remainder of the third, with Stansfield feeding Brigitta Games for the turn and strike out of set, and then hitting Annika Jensen for a skipper with 1:12 to go. In the final seconds of the frame, Elise Stein plugged her her second goal of the game, and it was a 16-1 USC lead entering the fourth. Things would slow down in the final stretch. Kaylee Brownsberger fired in the opening goal to net a 17-1 USC lead before SJSU earned a 5-meter penalty shot and converted at 6:21 to get it to 17-2. Defenses would win out the rest of the way, and USC wrapped up the win to punch its ticket to the MPSF semifinals.

Game 3-- No. 5 seed California 9, No. 4 seed Arizona State 7

Recap by Cal

LOS ANGELES - The No. 5 Cal women's water polo team held No. 4 Arizona State to just two goals for over the final 15 minutes of the game and the Golden Bears went on to a 9-7 victory Friday in the quarterfinals of the MPSF Tournament.

With the win, the Bears (15-7) advance to the MPSF semifinals against top-seeded UCLA at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Cal tightened up its defense with 3:28 left in the third period, holding the Sun Devils without a goal for over the next six minutes while scoring three unanswered goals to break a tie and lead 8-5 with 7:15 to play. Arizona State got a goal back but then went scoreless again for almost six minutes. By the time the Sun Devils scored again, the Bears led 9-6 with only 90 seconds remaining.

Senior goalie Madeline Trabucco was brilliant again, registering 11 saves after making a career-high 12 saves in Cal's last game against No. 2 USC. Junior Dora Antal led the Bears with three goals, moving her into sole possession of fourth place on Cal's all-time scoring list with 192 in her career. She had a team-best 48 goals this season.

Freshman Emma Wright had a pair of goals for the Bears, including the one that put Cal ahead for good at 6-5 with 1:53 left in the third period. Senior Genevieve Weed also scored twice for California.

The win helped strengthen the Bears' case for an at-large berth to the NCAA Championships. Cal has now beaten Arizona State two of three times this season, with its only loss coming by one goal. The Bears also beat the Sun Devils 10-4 at the Barbara Kalbus Invitational.

Saturday, Apr. 29 (Semifinals)

Game 4- No. 7 seed CSU Bakersfield 10, No. 6 seed San Jose State 9

Recap by CSUB

LOS ANGELES--Ashley Paz scored six goals to lead No. 22 CSU Bakersfield past No. 14 San José State 10-9 in the consolation round of the MPSF Tournament Saturday at UCLA. "Ashley was unstoppable at times on both offense and defense today," said CSUB head coach Jason Gall. The Roadrunners and the Spartans exchanged goals early before Paz put CSUB up 3-2 at the 2:18 mark of the first period. Sheila Jensen tied at three 2:03 into the second. A Paz power play goal at 4:35 of the second returned the lead to the Roadrunners. Paz completed a hat trick a little over two minutes later to create a two-goal advantage. Kristen Jensen scored CSUB's third power play goal of the half with just over a minute to play in the first half. The `Runners took a 6-3 lead into halftime. Carla Toha Vilanova scored the first goal of the second half for the Spartans three minutes into the third when she took advantage of a CSUB overplay in front of the `Runner goal. Yates cut the lead to 6-5 with a power play goal in the fifth minute. The Roadrunners drew an exclusion with 17 seconds to go in the third period. After a 30-second timeout, Paz's fourth of the day made it 7-5 at the buzzer. Klaudia Paradi scored 1:18 into the fourth quarter to bring the Spartans back to within one. Paz drew a penalty shot on the ensuing Roadrunner possession. She converted the opportunity to put CSUB back up by two. The Roadrunners forced a turnover and drew an exclusion on San José State goalie Katelynn Thompson. Jensen's skip shot pushed the lead to 9-6. Carla Toha Vilanova scored on a penalty shot of her own with just under five to play. After the teams exchanged defensive stops, Paz's sixth goal of the day at 3:34 put CSUB into double digits. A Roadrunnner exclusion led to a Sierra Painter power play goal with 2:39 remaining. An unforced CSUB turnover led to a Spartans' transition opportunity which Painter made count as she tallied her second goal at the 2:03 mark. The Spartans (10-19) attempted a long pass to get into a transition opportunity. CSUB stole the ball but could not get a shot off and dumped the ball back to the Spartans with 44 seconds remaining. San José Statecalled timeout. Paz jumped a Spartans' pass and made the steal to regain possession for the Roadrunners. CSUB called their final timeout to set the offense. Paz drew an exclusion on Thompson who was trying to steal the ball. CSUB ran out the clock for the win. The Roadrunner victory was the first for CSUB against a MPSF opponent since the `Runners joined the conference in 2013 (30 regular season, 10 post season matches). It is the first time that the Roadrunners have defeated the Spartans (breaking a 15-match losing streak to SJSU) since Apr. 5, 2009 when CSUB defeated San José State 12-11. "I am so proud and excited for our seniors who have grown so much as players and people over the last four years," Gall said. "Tancy and Cassie had a couple goals in the first quarter that set the tone for the game. For Ashley not to have an ejection against her as a primary defender in two games this season against San Jose is unbelievable. She has proven to be one of the top players in this conference. We are excited to be playing tomorrow for fifth place." CSU Bakersfield (13-16) will face No. 4 Arizona State (19-7) for fifth place Sunday morning at 11 a.m.

Game 5-- No. 2 seed Stanford 6, No. 3 seed USC 5

Recap by Stanford

LOS ANGELES - Makenzie Fischer and Jordan Raney each scored twice and No. 2 Stanford coupled timely scores with stout defense to beat No. 3 USC 6-5 in an MPSF Tournament semifinal on Saturday.

Stanford (20-2), which has won five MPSF championships but just one the past 10 years (2014), awaits the winner of No. 1 UCLA (20-1) and No. 5 California (15-7) in tomorrow's final at 2:30 p.m.

The Cardinal was up two for most of the afternoon until USC (27-3) scored three times in the first four minutes of the third quarter to level things 4-4. The Trojans went to Brigitta Games for a pair of goals at two meters and got another from Kelsey McIntosh after Games was swarmed inside.

Raney answered the first Games goal at 6:44 when Maggie Steffens found her in space and the junior rose, fired and rattled the cage to make it 4-2. Following two more scores from Games and McIntosh, Fischer fired in a man-up score (3:50) after Denise Mammolito was excluded for the Trojans to put Stanford ahead for the final time.

Late in the third, USC had one of its five 6-on-5 chances, but had its entry pass picked off by Shannon Cleary. The Trojans went just 1-of-5 in power play situations.

Midway through the fourth, Raney drew a penalty on USC's Stephania Harlabidis, which Fischer converted to make it 6-4. The script was flipped at 2:52 when Games made an inside move and drew a penalty, which Haralabidis scored.

USC had possession with under a minute left and was looking for the equalizer, but Stanford's pressure defense forced a shot clock violation with 51 seconds remaining. The Cardinal's shot attempt with less than 30 seconds left was tipped by Trojan keeper Amanda Longan and Stanford was able to retain control and run out the clock.

Stanford was up 3-1 after one period and scored on its first possession of the game when Steffens hit Kat Klass at the far post and Klass redirected the service to the back of the cage (7:00). Neither team would score again from three minutes until Ioanna Haralabidis slipped one past Gabby Stone off the feed from Maud Megens (4:01).

Stanford earned its first 6-on-5 of the day the next time down the pool and Raney would score at 3:17. At 1:42, Stone made one of her four saves and hit a streaking Fischer down the right side with a pinpoint pass. Fischer found Maggie Steffens at the far post and the Olympic connection netted the Cardinal a 3-1 lead.

The win was the 20th of the season for Stanford, which has won at least that many games for 13 consecutive seasons.

Game 6-- 1 seed UCLA 9, No. 5 seed California 8

Recap by UCLA

LOS ANGELES - The top-seeded UCLA women's water polo team overcame two second-half deficits to top fifth-seeded California, 9-8, and advance to Sunday's MPSF Championship Tournament final. Maddie Musselman led the way for the Bruins with three goals, while Rachel Fattal contributed a key field block on the Golden Bears' final possession of the game. The regular-season champion Bruins did not take long to get started, as Alys Williams took advantage of an early California penalty to net the game's opening goal at 7:41 of the first frame. Fellow redshirt senior Kodi Hill followed suit with an even-strength score at 5:46 to give the Bruins a multi-goal advantage. A Bronte Halligan penalty allowed the Golden Bears a shot from five meters and Dora Antal converted to cut the Bruin lead in half. Emily Loughlin tied it up with a power-play goal at 3:19 to begin a stretch of four alternating scores. Musselman posted her first at 2:01 and Rachel Lewin followed with yet another six-on-five goal for the Golden Bears to knot the game at three apiece after one. Fattal scored one from distance just 30 seconds into the second quarter to kick-start a Bruin rally. Mackenzie Barr pushed the advantage to 5-3 at 6:11 of the quarter and Fattal added another during a power-play to give the Bruins a game-high three-goal lead. The Golden Bears would not go away, however, as Lewin posted her second (1:47) and Anna Illes converted on a penalty shot with just under a minute to go in the half. After cutting the halftime deficit to just one at 6-5, the Golden Bears took momentum into the third quarter. Cal's Madeline Trabucco tallied five of her nine saves in the third, while Stephanie Mutafyan (4:14) and Carla Carrega (3:13) each found the back of the net to give the Golden Bears their first lead of the game. Musselman eventually answered with a penalty shot at 1:40 of the third, but fellow freshman Emma Wright was able to answer to give California an 8-7 lead heading into the final frame. While the third belonged to Trabucco, the fourth belonged to the Bruin defense and Carlee Kapana. UCLA's netminder posted two of her five saves in the fourth quarter to give the Bruins more time to establish their offense late. Ultimately, the UCLA fourth-quarter offense belonged to the freshmen, as Musselman finished off her hat trick with the game's tying goal at 3:15, while Halligan posted the game winner at 2:35. The final defensive stop came from one of the longest-tenured Bruins, though, as Fattal stopped the Golden Bears last shot to all-but-seal the UCLA victory.

The Bruins now move to the championship game, where they will meet second-seeded Stanford. The Cardinal defeated third-seeded USC in Saturday's earlier semifinal, 6-5. The teams have met once this season, as UCLA upset then-top-ranked Stanford, 10-9, two weeks ago at Avery Aquatics Center.

Sunday, April 30 (Finals)

Game 7- No. 4 seed Arizona State 13, No. 7 seed CSU Bakersfield 4--5th-place

Recap by ASU

Los Angeles -- The fourth-ranked Arizona State water polo team finished fifth at the 2017 MPSF Championship with a 13-4 win over No. 20 Bakersfield Sunday afternoon at the SpiekerAquatics Center on the campus of UCLA. Sunday's win marked No. 20 on the season for the Sun Devils who have now reached the 20 win plateau five times in program history.

The Sun Devils wasted no time getting the offense going on Sunday as PJ Allin, Maud Koopman and Alkistis Benekou each netted a goal in the first three minutes of the game. The Roadrunners would answer back with a goal of their own at the 4:54 mark, but the Sun Devils would rattle off three more goals to close out the first quarter.

Working with a commanding, 6-2, lead the Sun Devils would go on to outscore Bakersfield 3-1 to take a 9-3 lead into the halftime break.

The Sun Devil defense buckled down in the third, shutting out the Roadrunnersint he third, to send the game to the fourth quarter with ASU in control, 11-3.

In the final quarter, the Sun Devils would add two more to close out the 13-4 ASU victory.Benekou ended the game as the Sun Devils leading scorer with three goals, her 11thmulti goal outing for the Sun Devils in 2017.

In Sunday's effort, junior Mia Rycraw recorded 11 saves,her fifth game in the last six appearances, and second straight game, to record double digit saves.

The fourth-ranked Sun Devils will await their fate in the NCAA Tournament with the field scheduled to be announced Monday afternoon at 5 p.m. Fans can watch the entire selection show on NCAA.com, and follow updates by following @ASUWaterpolo on Twitter.

Game 8- No. 3 seed USC 8, No. 5 seed California 6---3rd-Place

Recap by USC

WESTWOOD, CALIF. -- The No. 3 USC women's water polo team came through in the clutch with a comeback push to beat No. 5 California 8-6 and claim third place in the MPSF Championships today in Westwood. Up by two at the end of the third, the Trojans saw the Golden Bears battle back and take a one-goal lead in the fourth frame before USC regrouped and rattled off three unanswered goals in the last four minutes to secure a key victory for the Trojan cause. Now 28-3 overall, USC awaits the bracket announcement for the NCAA Championships, which will be revealed on Monday (May 1). USC's offense was paced in the first frame by Brianna Daboub, who punched up the opening goal and then delivered the early equalizer after Cal managed back-to-back goals to move into the lead midway through the first. Daboub also earned a pair of exclusions, and converted one of her own with a slick finish to make it 2-2. In the second, Cal manufactured another go-ahead goal with a score as the teams pulled even on a 6-on-5, but USC had a swift response at the ready. Brigitta Games got USC up a 6-on-5 at the other end next, and Maud Megens found Stephania Haralabidis for a rifle shot that locked the game back up at 3-3. Defenses held their ground the rest of the way, and that snarl would hold for halftime. The Trojan defense made its presence known quickly in the third frame, with goalie Amanda Longan boldly coming out to collect a pass into 2-meters. Stephania Haralabidis would issue a pair of field blocks against Cal's next possession, and Megens and Longan would come through with back-to-back takeaways soon after. With 3:14 on the clock, Games made her move, taking the pass, turning and rocketing through the go-ahead goal for USC. After another Longan save -- she'd finish with 14 in the game -- USC would strike again in the final minute. Megens found Haralabidis for a strong effort and finish with a crosscage ripper, and USC gripped a 5-3 lead entering the fourth frame.

Cal would end 12 minutes of scoring silence with a skipper on its first possession of the fourth, and the Bears were working toward a momentum shift. Cal struck again with a 6-on-5 score to the top corner, then hit the corner again to steal back into the lead, up 6-5 with 4:30 left to play. The Trojans were not rattled, however. USC stiffened its defense and found an offensive spark right when it needed to. Daboub would earn another 6-on-5 for the Trojans, then issued the setup pass to Haralabidis for a searing crosscage strike as teams pulled even, and it was an even game for the fifth time, knotted at 6-6 with 3:47 on the clock. Not a minute later, Megens found Ioanna Haralabidis for a clutch crosscage blast that got USC back into the lead and pulled the senior up to No. 9 all-time in scoring at USC with her 170th career goal. Longan shut down a Cal 6-on-5 next, and then USC made its move. Megens earned a power play for the Trojans, then got the ball to Hayley McKelvey for a sneaky lob that dropped perfectly to craft an 8-6 lead for USC with 1:33 remaining. USC's defense did the rest, and the game would wrap with the Trojans victorious in an 8-6 decision over Cal. USC now looks to the NCAA Tournament, which will be held May 12-14 in Indianapolis, Ind. The Trojans will enter the tournament as the defending national champions after an undefeated run to the 2016 title.

Game 9- No. 1 seed UCLA 6, No. 2 seed Stanford 3

Recap by UCLA

LOS ANGELES - The top-seeded UCLA women's water polo team defeated second-seeded Stanford Sunday to win the 11th MPSF title in program history. Rachel Fattal led the Bruins with three goals, but it was the UCLA defense that stole the show in the second half. Six Bruins accounted for 13 steals and the Cardinal was held scoreless over the game's final 20:47, en route to its lowest-scoring output of the season. Carlee Kapana recorded four of her six saves in the final frame. After both teams felt each other out for the first 2:35 of the contest, Fattal saw an opportunity and took it. The redshirt senior sent a shot past Stanford goalie Gabby Stone to establish an early advantage for the Bruins. The next four minutes were packed with missed opportunities on both sides, as each team exhibited persistent defense during multiple six-on-five opportunities. With 1:05 to go, it was the Cardinal's Dani Jackovich who finally put one through for the Cardinal to make it a whole new ballgame. A Katie Dudley exclusion set the stage for the Bruins to retake the lead, however, and Maddie Musselman did just that. The freshman found the back of the net with 43 seconds to go in the opening frame to re-establish the Bruin lead at 2-1. It did not take long in the second quarter for the Cardinal to pull even once again. Madison Berggren did the honors this time, less than a minute into the second. A Bronte Halligan exclusion at 5:07 set the table for Stanford, which pulled ahead thanks to a Jordan Raney six-on-five score (4:47). The Halligan exclusion was the first of five between the teams in the second, and it was not until the 2:24 mark that either team was able to capitalize. The veteran Fattal rattled the cage with her second of the day to cap first-half scoring for both teams with a 3-3 tie. The first 3:54 of the third quarter went by with neither team able to establish an advantage. For the third time, it was Fattal who was finally able to put an end to a dry spell. The goal at 4:06 proved to be the difference, as the defense picked up down the stretch. Musselman tallied three of her four steals in the third quarter, constantly disrupting the Cardinal flow. Alexa Tielmann scored her first goal of the contest during a six-on-five advantage just shy of the quarter's final minute, and the Bruins went to the fourth with a 5-3 lead. The final quarter belonged to Kapana, who recorded the first of her quartet of saves during a five-on-six stretch. The long arms of the Bruin defense and Kapana's presence in the cage repeatedly made opportunities difficult for the Cardinal. An Alys Williams goal doubled up Stanford at 3:58 and there was little looking back from there for UCLA. The MPSF title marked the 11th all-time for the Bruins, who most recently accomplished the feat in 2015. UCLA now awaits the NCAA.com Selection Show, which will air Monday at 5:00 p.m., PT.

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