May 10, 1998
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - The No. 1 UCLA Bruins (35-1) defeated the No. 3 California Golden Bears (27-6), 7-3, for their third consecutive Women's Water Polo National Collegiate Championship title, Sunday at the USC McDonald's Swim Stadium in front of 1,000 fans.
The Bruins scored first in the match, but Cal senior driver Alicia Razzari and senior two-meter All-American and 1997 National Collegiate Championship Tournament MVP Alisa vonHartitzsch helped the Bears with a goal apiece, giving Cal a 2-1 lead with 3:59 left in the first quarter. UCLA quickly countered with two goals, leading 3-2 going into the second quarter. UCLA scored again with 2:46 left in the second quarter and then added another goal with eight seconds left in the half to give the Bruins a 5-2 edge over the Bears going into the third quarter.
The Bears took a huge blow after vonHartitzsch, an offensive power, received her third ejection less than a minute into the third quarter and was forced to sit out the remainder of the match. Cal managed only one more goal in the rest of the match.
Cal junior goalkeeper Evi Schueller finished strong, tallying seven saves in the match and 21 for the tournament. VonHartitzsch lead the tournament with a total of nine goals and was named to the All-Tournament First Team. Sophomores Colette Glinkowski and Heather Petri and junior Kaliya Young were named to the All-Tournament Second Team, and senior Karen Cook received honorable mention.
Cal, which gave UCLA its only loss of the season, is also the only team to have defeated UCLA in three years. The Bruins defeated the Bears, 6-3, in the 1997 Collegiate National Championship title match in Ann Arbor, MI and also defeated them, 8-4, in the national title match in 1996.
The Bears also entered the national tournament ranked No. 3, but upset No. 2 Stanford, 8-5, in the semifinal round on Saturday. The Cardinal led the Bears, 3-2, going into the second quarter, but Cal tied the match, 4-4, going into the half. Glinkowski scored her second goal of the match with 1:12 left in the third quarter to break the tie and give the Bears a 5-4 lead going into the final quarter. VonHartitzsch then scored three consecutive goals in the fourth quarter to clinch the Cal 8-5 victory.
The Bears also defeated No. 15 Indiana, 7-0, and No. 7 USC, 7-3, in the first round of the tournament on Friday. At 9 a.m., Cal faced Indiana to earn its first shutout of the season. The offense, lead by Petri who tallied three goals in the match, scored the majority of its goals in the first half of the match. With a 5-0 lead going into the second half, the Bears then added one more goal in both the third and fourth quarters to seal the Cal 7-0 victory. The Cal offense outshot Indiana, 24-3, and the defense was lead by Schueller who totaled three saves.
At 6:20 p.m. that day, the Bears faced the USC Trojans. Cal once again dominated its opponent, outscoring the Trojans in three of four quarters for a 7-3 win. After holding off the Trojans, the Bears finished first in their bracket, and Cal's offensive power Alisa vonHartitzsch earned a team high of four goals at the end of that day.
California 2 0 0 1 --3 UCLA 3 2 1 1 --7 UCLA: Simmons 3, Beauregard, Gall, Golaboski, von Schwarz. California: Petri, Razzari, A. vonHartitzsch. Goalie Saves: Schueller 7 (Cal), Payne 13 (UCLA).
Notes: UCLA won its third consecutive national championship, beating California all three times in the final. UCLA finishes at 35-1. California finishes at 27-6.