ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Hanalei Crowell
and Sarah Lizotte
scored a pair of goals, but No. 2 California proved to be too much for the seventh-seeded UC San Diego women's water polo team, as the Golden Bears took down the Tritons, 13-5, on Friday afternoon at Canham Natatorium in the NCAA Quarterfinals.
The Tritons move to 17-19 on the season and will face sixth-seeded Indiana (25-12) at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday. The Hoosiers fell to No. 3 UCLA, 8-5, on Friday afternoon. Cal moves to 27-4 on the year and will face the Bruins on Saturday in the semifinals.
UCSD scored all five goals with a man-advantage against the Golden Bears, but could not make more of its 12 6-on-5 situations. UCSD managed just a pair of first half goals from from Lizotte and Crowell, as Cal took an 8-2 lead into halftime.
"Against a team like Cal, which very well could end up being the NCAA champion Sunday, you absolutely have to capitalize when you have 6-on-5 situations," said UCSD head coach Brad Kreutzkamp. "We were able to draw ejections and made our share, but to win a game like this you really have to maximize those opportunities. Cal is so balanced, so good that you pretty much have to play perfect."
Lizotte opened the second half with a goal just a minute in to bring the Tritons within five, but Cal responded with a pair of goals to make it 10-3 with 3:37 remaining in the third. Kirsten Bates got into the scoring act for the Tritons a minute later, but the Golden Bears scored two more before the close of the period to make it 12-4 heading into the final stanza.
Cal added its last score just 41 seconds into the fourth. Crowell would notch the only other goal of the quarter, as the Golden Bears secured the eight-goal victory.
"I think we could have played better. We missed some opportunities-6-on-5 and a couple of one on nobody counters-that could have changed the game a little but Cal is really good," said Lizotte. "Just having the opportunity to play against them is awesome, such a good experience for our younger players."
UCSD goalie Allie Taylor recorded nine saves and four steals. "I was really happy with Allie Taylor's play in goal," said Kreutzkamp. "She made the blocks she was supposed to make."
If UCSD defeats Indiana on Saturday, the Tritons will advance to play in the fifth-place game on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. The loser of UCSD-Indiana will move to the seventh-place game on Sunday at 9:00 a.m.