Women's Water Polo
    NCAA Women's Water Polo Championship Results - Day 1

    LOS ANGELES--Top-seeded Stanford and No. 2 UCLA will meet in a rematch of last year's NCAA Women's Water Polo Championship as both teams advanced to the title game of the 2002 NCAA tournament, with the Cardinal beating No. 4 Michigan, 13-3, and the Bruins defeating No. 3 Loyola Marymount, 11-2, in semifinal matches on Saturday (May 11) at USC.

    UCLA, which won last year's inaugural NCAA championship (5-4), will battle Stanford at 5 p.m. on Sunday (May 12). Michigan and Loyola Marymount will play at 3:30 p.m. in the consolation match.

    Two weeks ago (April 28), the Bruins upset Stanford, 11-7, in the final of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championship, also in the USC pool. That victory avenged three losses earlier in the season to the Cardinal.

    In Saturday's first game, Stanford (22-2) held a 9-0 lead before Stephanie Rupp scored with 4:16 to play in the third quarter to put Michigan (25-12) on the board. The Cardinal held leads of 4-0 at the end of the first quarter and 7-0 at halftime. Brenda Villa scored 4 goals for Stanford, while teammates Jeanine Jackson, Lauren Faust and Julie Gardner added 2 goals each.

    "Michigan was tougher than we anticipated," said Stanford coach John Tanner. "But we moved the ball really well. We put good pressure on them defensively. It's pretty exciting to be in the championship game. At the beginning, there were 60 teams and now there are two."

    Said Michigan coach Amber Drury-Pinto: "We were a little nervous starting out, but we did some good things. There's a good reason why Stanford has been ranked No. 1 most of the year."

    The second semifinal was similar to the first, as UCLA (22-3) led 7-0 before Jaime Kroeze scored with 5:22 to play in the third period for Loyola Marymount (20-8). Like Stanford, the Bruins opened up a 4-0 lead at the end of the first quarter. Kelly Heuchan scored 3 goals for UCLA, while sisters Amber and Ashley Stachowski added 2 goals apiece.

    "The big thing for us was getting off to the good start," said UCLA coach Adam Krikorian. "Getting two quick goals in the first two minutes was key. Once we did that, I knew we were in good shape. Now, we're looking forward to the challenge in the final."

    Said Loyola Marymount coach John Loughran: "We had a slow start. They scored on their first two possessions and that set the tone for them. UCLA has been playing as the No. 1 team for the last few weeks. Their outside shooting is probably the best in the country. On the inside, there was definitely a size advantage in their favor."

    Match #1                        1       2       3       4       OT      Final
    #1 Stanford (22-2)              4       3       5       1       --      13
    #4 Michigan (25-12)             0       0       1       2       --      3
    

    Stanford Goals: Brenda Villa 4, Jeanine Jackson 2, Lauren Faust 2, Julie Gardner 2, Nicole Huszcz 1, Ellen Estes 1, Kate Pettit 1 Michigan Goals: Jen Crisman 1, Julie Nisbet 1, Stephanie Rupp 1 Stanford Saves: Jackie Frank 5 Michigan Saves: Betsey Armstrong 14

    Match #2 1 2 3 4 OT Final #2 UCLA (22-3) 4 2 4 1 -- 11 #3 Loyola Marymount (20-8) 0 0 2 0 -- 2

    UCLA Goals: Kelly Heuchan 3, Amber Stachowski 2, Ashley Stachowski 2, Natalie Golda 1, Jenny Lamb 1, Kristyn Pulver 1, Thalia Munro 1 Loyola Marymount Goals: Julia Wald 1, Jaime Kroeze 1 UCLA Saves: Jaime Hipp 7 Loyola Marymount Saves: Devon Courtney 7

    2002 NCAA WOMEN'S WATER POLO CHAMPIONSHIP SEMIFINALS MAY 11 USC McDONALD'S SWIM STADIUM

    POST-GAME QUOTES

    GAME 1 (STANFORD VS. MICHIGAN)

    Michigan coach Amber Drury-Pinto: "We were a little nervous starting out, but we did some good things. There's a good reason why Stanford has been ranked No. 1 most of the year.

    "Stanford played a little heavier than we expected, especially on the outsides. We adjusted to that, but we made some young mistakes. We'll be better for it in our game tomorrow.

    "The biggest thing is that we wanted to play Michigan water polo. We didn't want to just be happy to be here. We're hopeful we can get a good matchup tomorrow and get one more win."

    Michigan utility player Delia Sonda: "It was a great honor to be here. We were excited to go up against Stanford. We were a little nervous at first, but we got better. Stanford is a great team, but so is Michigan. They capitalized on our mistakes. I'm proud of our team. We didn't give up."

    "I'm not concerned about bouncing back tomorrow. We believe we can do well. No one has their head down. We're looking forward to the game tomorrow."

    Stanford Coach John Tanner: "I was pleased with our crispness on offense. We moved the ball really well. We were quick and decisive. We put good pressure on them defensively. They were tougher than we anticipated, much more aggressive than the Brown team we played last year.

    "It's pretty exciting to be in the championship game. At the beginning, there were 60 teams and now there are two."

    Stanford sophomore Brenda Villa: "We've taken the NCAAs one step at a time. Our coach told us that we can't play the championship game until Sunday. We've stayed in the moment.

    "We're ready regardless of the opponent. We started this all in October and now we're down to our final goal."

    2002 NCAA WOMEN'S WATER POLO CHAMPIONSHIP SEMIFINALS MAY 11 USC McDONALD'S SWIM STADIUM

    POST-GAME QUOTES

    GAME 2 (UCLA VS. LOYOLA MARYMOUNT)

    Loyola Marymount coach John Loughran: "Our goal today was to stop their counter attack. We had a slow start. They scored on their first two possessions and that set the tone for them. We drew more ejections than they did and we were driving well and had solid 2-meter play. We just needed to stop them from making runs. We did a nice job in the second half.

    "UCLA's been playing as the No. 1 team for the last few weeks. Their outside shooting is probably the best in the country. On the inside, there was definitely a size advantage in their favor.

    "I'm proud of the way my team played. We played tough. We're known for our defense, but we let them score too many easy goals and that is uncharacteristic of our team."

    Loyola Marymount utility Lucy Windes: "We were excited to be here. It was nervewracking at first. I feel like we tried hard. We had trouble handling them one on one. It was an all-out battle out there at times."

    Loyola Marymount goalie Devon Courtney: "You can't ever count us out. We were a little overwhelmed today. There was a lot of emotion and maybe some distraction. But we'll be focused tomorrow."

    UCLA coach Adam Krikorian: "Going into it, we expected a hard-fought game, especially with LMU being a senior-laden team and having been here before. The big thing for us was getting off to the good start. Getting the two quick goals was key. Once we did that, I knew we were in good shape. We were up 6-0 at the half and I felt comfortable. That allowed us to play more people and rest some of our players for tomorrow.

    "Loyola probably could have played a little better. They've had a great year. My hat goes off to them just for getting here.

    "Loyola and Stanford play similar styles of defense. They both rely on their goalies to make saves. Offensively, this is a good prep for tomorrow.

    "Over the past month, we've had a good combination of playing intense and loose. We're comfortable in this pool (at USC). We've played here five times this year. We're looking forward to the challenge tomorrow.

    UCLA center Robin Beauregard: "Tomorrow will be a battle. We've played Stanford four times this year. Any time these two teams get together, it's an exciting match. Whoever has the most heart will win it."