Saturday, March 10, 2018

NO. 1 BEARS DEFEAT NO. 4 UCLA



Senior Anna Illes scored two goals to lead the Bears to a win over UCLA on Saturday.

BERKELEY – The No. 1 Cal women's water polo team ended the week the same way it started – by making history.

The Bears, who rose to No. 1 in the national rankings for the first time in 18 years after knocking off undefeated and defending NCAA champion Stanford earlier in the week, registered its first win over UCLA in seven years Saturday with a 5-3 triumph at Spieker Aquatics Complex.

It was Cal's first victory over the Bruins since April 7, 2011 – ending a 16-game losing streak to UCLA.

"This last week has been amazing," senior Anna Illes said. "We were really pumped after beating Stanford, but we had some team meetings to make sure it wasn't just a one-time thing. We knew we had to come out hard today and show how good we actually are."

The Bears (14-3, 2-0 MPSF) beat the Bruins by playing a smothering brand of defense, holding UCLA scoreless for the final 17 minutes, 20 seconds – including the entire second half.

"That was one of the better defensive games for us in terms of really locking in and taking away what we want from the opponent," Cal head coach Coralie Simmons said. "Collectively, we played nicely together as a unit."

The Bruins led 3-1 with 1:20 left in the second quarter but didn't score again. Kacey Avalos' goal with 44 seconds left in the first half cut the deficit to 3-2, and sophomore Emma Wright tied it on a penalty shot midway through the third.

Senior Carla Carrega put the Bears  in front less than a minute after Wright's goal, and Illes scored less than two minutes after that to make it 5-3.

Cal's defense did the work after that. Goalie Madison Tagg made five saves and the Bears limited UCLA to only a handful of quality scoring chances.

"The season is a big roller coaster," Simmons said. "We've been on a high, and now we just want to plateau. We don't want to get too high or too low. It's not time to get complacent or over-think things."

The Bears now have a full week off before visiting No. 6 Arizona State next Saturday.
 

No. 1 Cal 5, No. 4 UCLA 3
UCLA 1 2 0 0 – 3
Cal 1 1 3 0 – 5
UCLA Goals: Lexi Liebowitz, Lizette Roseboom, Devin Grab.
Cal Goals: Anna Illes 2, Emma WrightCarla CarregaKacey Avalos
UCLA Saves: Carlee Kapana 12.
Cal Saves: Madison Tagg 5.




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