No. 2 USC Edges No. 3 UCLA In UCI Invite Semifinal|
Feb. 24, 2013
IRVINE, CALIF. -- The No. 2 USC women's water polo team got the last word in a see-saw battle with No. 3 UCLA today in the semifinals of the UCI Invitational. Kaleigh Gilchrist blasted one through with 2 seconds left, and USC held on for the 11-10 victory that puts the Trojans into this evening's championship bout with top-ranked Stanford. USC improves to 11-0 with today's win over its crosstown rivals.
USC freshman Anni Espar recorded her first hat trick as a Trojan today to lead USC's scoring attack. Espar's second of the day got USC a tight 8-7 lead near the close of the third frame, but the game would stay neck-and-neck. The Bruins were awarded a 5-meter penalty shot to open the fourth, converting for the 8-8 tie. Espar again got USC the go-ahead with her third strike making it 9-8. Again, UCLA would draw even, answering that Espar goal and then a Monica Vavic score on a 6-on-5. Locked up 10-10, USC's Kaleigh Gilchrist plugged in what would stand as the winner. Her bullet with 2 ticks to go proved the difference, and the Women of Troy were through to the title match.
No. 2 USC will face No. 1 Stanford in the championship game at 5:15 p.m. today (Feb. 24) in Irvine.
2013 UCI INVITATIONAL (Irvine, Calif.)
SEMIFINAL - Feb. 23
SAVES: Flora Bolonyai (USC) 8, Hill (UCLA) 13.