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LOS ANGELES – Katrina Drake scored three goals and Ava Johnson, sienna greenand Anna Pearson each added two goals to lead the No. 3 UCLA women’s water polo team past 14th-ranked Indiana in the MPSF and open the season for both teams Friday afternoon at Dirks Pool at the Spieker Aquatics Center.
A total of 10 Bruins made the goalscoring list, with a third of the goals scored coming from Bruin newcomers. The three Bruins, who returned to the field as graduate students, each scored one goal in the competition and combined for six goals.
The Bruins’ fourth player to return for a fifth season, goaltender Georgia PhillipsHe got the start in the cage and recorded five saves while conceding two goals. Junior Sydney Chiang came into play relieved in the second half, making six saves and two steals while conceding four goals.
The season opener on Friday was subdued as UCLA led by a narrow 3-2 at the end of the first period. student in the first year Genoa Rossi earned the distinction of scoring the first goal of the 2023 season when she found the back of the net after a feed from another freshman at the 5:18 mark of the opening quarter TaylorSmith. Indiana scored back-to-back to take a 2-1 lead, but UCLA finished the quarter with a goal from freshman Pearson (Hannah Palmer assist) and a goal from Johnson to reclaim the lead the Bruins would never give up.
The Bruins defense got going in the second quarter, knocking out the Hoosiers 2-0 and going 5-2 at the break. Green scored her first goal as a bruin in the second quarter after a pass from Rossi and then Drake scored her first goal after a feed from freshman Carly McMurray increase the lead to three.
A 10-goal quarter followed as UCLA scored seven goals in the third quarter and IU scored three as the Bruins led 12-5 going into the fourth quarter. Indiana scored first to cut the Bruins’ lead to 5-3, but Johnson (6:46), Green (5:32) and Drake (3:19) each scored their second goals of the game before clinching their degrees Val Ayala (2:36) and sophomore Emma Lineback (1:50) scored her first goal in the five-goal run. The two teams traded goals for the remainder of the period, with Drake completing their hat-trick (0:24) and Junior Malia Allen (0:01) hit the buzzer on a 7-on-6 opportunity from a feed from Lineback for their first goal of the game.
Pearson’s second goal of the game opened the scoring (7-11) in the fourth quarter. Then seniors Hannah Palmer (6:07) found the back of the net and a sophomore Molly Renner scored her first goal of the year (2:25) and extended the lead to 15-5. Zoe Crouch’s second goal for the Hoosiers ended scoring for the game (1:59).
Crouch led Indiana with two goals while Hoosier goaltender Mary Askew finished the contest with 11 saves and three steals while giving up 15 goals to the Bruins.
The Bruins return to action tomorrow at the UCSB Winter Invite when they take on #21 San Diego State on Saturday, January 21 at 9:30 a.m. PT at the UCSB Campus Pool.
GAME NOTES: The Bruins won their 24th straight season opener, dating back to 1999…coincidentally, 1999 was the only other time in school history that UCLA opened a season with a league game (lost 4-3 at Stanford on Feb. 6, 1999 ) … UCLA improved to an all-time 19-0 against Indiana … the Bruins improved to an all-time 27-2 in season openings … UCLA is now 24-4 in MPSF openings dating back to 1996.
#14 Indiana at #3 UCLA (MPSF and season opener)
Los Angeles, California (Dirks Pool at Spieker Aquatics Center)
6×5 – UCLA: 2/10, IU: 2/7
Penalty Shots – UCLA: 0/1, IU: 0/0
IU Goals: Zoe Crouch 2, Sophia Sollie 1, Lanna Debow 1, Megan Holcomb 1, Louisa Downes 1
IV saves: Mary Slant 11
UCLA Goals: Katrina Drake 3, Ava Johnson 2, sienna green 2, Anna Pearson 2, Hannah Palmer 1, Val Ayala 1, Malia Allen 1, Emma Lineback 1, Molly Renner 1, Genoa Rossi 1
UCLA stores: Sydney Chiang 6, Georgia Phillips 5