Women's Water Polo Loses
April 26, 1998
STANFORD, Calif. - Top-ranked and two-time defending national champion UCLA showed that it is still the team to beat, defeating its closest competition - second-ranked Stanford - 7-4 in the championship game of the 1998 Women's Water Polo Western Regionals.
The tournament, hosted by Stanford at de Guerre Pool, included 13 teams vying for seven bids to the Collegiate National Championships, which will run May 8-10 at USC.
The seven qualifying teams were UCLA, Stanford, California, Hawaii, San Diego State, USC and UC Santa Barbara. The first six had already qualified entering the final day of competition while UC Santa Barbara defeated UC Davis 3-1 in an overtime thriller for the seventh and final spot.
UCLA, which had rolled to the championship game by winning its first three games by no less than eight goals, fell behind 1-0 early in the first quarter on a goal by Stanford sophomore Suze Gardner. That would be all the Cardinal would be able to muster however against the Bruin's stifling defense until late in the fourth quarter.
In the meantime, UCLA went on a 6-0 run to put the game away. Junior Coralie Simmons led the Bruins with three goals.
In the third-place game, Cal scored three goals in each of the first three quarters en route to a 10-6 win over Hawaii. Four players scored two goals for the Golden Bears in the win. Hawaii qualified for nationals in just its first season as a varsity sport.
In the seventh place game, sophomore Katie Hill scored what proved to be the winning goal at the 2:06 mark of the first overtime to deliver the Gauchos to nationals. Sophomore Kara Watkins added the insurance goal with 1:14 remaining.
Day Three Results: 11th Place Game San Jose State d. Washington 6-4 9th Place Game Pacific d. UC San Diego 8-4 7th Place Game UC Santa Barbara d. UC Davis 3-1 (ot) 5th Place Game San Diego State d. USC 7-6 3rd Place Game California d. Hawaii 10-6 Championship Game UCLA d. Stanford 7-4