March 8, 2008
BERKELEY - The No. 3 California women's water polo stayed close to No. 4 USC but the Women of Troy pulled out the 8-7 MPSF victory. The Golden Bears stayed close for the entirety of the game and were within one goal of tying the game in the fourth quarter but did not emerge victoriously. Sophomore two-meter Grace Reynolds led the Bears with two goals. The Bears drop to 11-5 overall and 4-2 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation while USC improves to 11-4 and 4-0 in the MPSF.
USC scored on its first possession of the game thanks to a goal from junior driver Michelle Stein. Stein scored again roughly a minute later off an assist from senior driver Julie Spataru to give the Trojans an early 2-0 lead. The Bears did not stay quiet for long and two goals would be USC's largest lead of the game. Cal sophomore utility Julie Oreglia scored on fast break and a long pass from junior two-meter defender Melissa Wheeler with 4:33 to play in the first quarter.
USC freshman two-meter Kristen Dronberger got on the board, skipping a shot past senior goalie Heather Stuart to return a two-goal lead to the Trojans. With seconds remaining in the first period, sophomore utility Darby Anderson scored on a buzzing-beating shot from 10 meters out to pull the Bears within one, 3-2.
The Women of Troy was first on the board in the second stanza with a goal when junior utility Jordan Anae scored with a log shot after rebounding her first shot, which hit off the cross bar. Sophomore two-meter Grace Reynolds scored at the 5:29 mark after sophomore defender Remy Champion dished her the ball. Sophomore driver Alexandra Kiss scored with a floater to distance USC, 5-3. Senior defender Katya Eadington skipped the ball into the back corner with 1:28 to play in the first half. Spataru scored to send the Trojans into the break with a 6-4 lead.
USC once again scored on its first possession in the third quarter off a five-meter penalty shot from Stein. Champion gave Cal a goal after a steal. Sophomore utility Camille Hewko drew a penalty shot and sophomore defender Meghan Corso subbed in and skipped it past USC goalie Tumua Anae. Spataru's skip shot ricocheted in the goal for a USC score, giving it an 8-6 lead at the end of the third period.
Despite multiple shots on goal on both sides of the pool, there was just one goal in the final quarter - a goal from Reynolds off an assist from Anderson. Tumua Anae had 12 saves between the posts for USC and Stuart grabbed eight.
The Bears travel to the desert next weekend to play at Arizona State on March 15 before returning home to hose Cal State Northridge on March 22 at Spieker Aquatics Complex.
Goals by period 1 2 3 4 F USC 3 3 2 0 8 Cal 2 2 2 1 7
USC goals: Michelle Stein 3, Julie Spataru 2, Jordan Anae 1, Kristen Dronberger 1, Lindsey Urquhart 1
Cal goals: Grace Reynolds 2, Darby Anderson 1, Remy Champion 1, Meghan Corso 1, Katya Eadington 1, Julie Oreglia 1
USC saves: Tumua Anae 12
Cal saves: Heather Stuart 8