March 2, 2013
By Kyra Geithman, SDA Media Relations
TEMPE, Ariz. – The No. 4 Arizona State women’s water polo team pulled a spectacular comeback in a fourth-quarter victory over No. 3 UCLA on Saturday afternoon in their home season opener at Mona Plummer Aquatic Center. Petra Pardi had three goals for the Devils, including the goal that took the lead for Arizona State early in the fourth quarter. ASU is now 12-3 overall and 1-0 in conference play.
The Bruins got on the scoreboard first thanks to a close-range goal from attacker Emily Donahoe. Arizona State was able to tie it up before the end of the first quarter on a goal from Gao Ao with just under a minute and a half to play before the buzzer sounded.
UCLA turned up the heat on the Devils in the second quarter, scoring three goals within two minutes to push the score to 1-4. ASU capitalized on a Bruin exclusion with just over a minute left in the half with Alicia Brightwell scoring to make it 2-4.
The Sun Devils came back strong in the second half. Just over twenty seconds after taking their first timeout two minutes into the quarter, Petra Pardi scored her first goal of the match from just outside the two-meter mark over two UCLA defenders. The Bruins matched with a netter of their own thanks to Donohoe’s second goal of the match to make the score 3-5. An ejection for the Bruins led to Pardi’s second goal to pull the Devils within one point. With eleven seconds remaining in the third, Arizona State forced a turnover and Anna Kertes sprinted half the length of the pool and scored the tying point with six seconds left, making it 5-5.
Arizona State came back to take the lead in the beginning of the fourth quarter as Pardi scored her third point to push the Devils to 6-5 over the Bruins, lobbing the ball neatly over a UCLA defender and into the far corner of the net. Kertes widened the lead with a sprinting 6-on-5 goal for a 7-5 score. Bruin India Forster swiped a UCLA goal on an Arizona State turnover near the net to pull the Bruins within one point. The Bruins had a chance to rebound and score in the last minute of play, but the Devils defense forced a turnover and UCLA was unable to recover as time ran out.