LOS ANGELES, Calif. – The No. 5 Arizona State University water polo team dropped its second consecutive MPSF game on Sunday as it fell to No. 2 UCLA, 11-7, in Los Angeles, Calif.
The Sun Devil offense struggled to find its groove in the first half of the contest, falling into an early 6-2 hole at the halftime break that it was unable to climb out despite a solid rally in the second half of the game.
Arizona State (9-6) has now gotten through its toughest stretch of the season, having faced the No. 1 and No. 2 ranked teams nationally in successive weekends after dropping its home opener to top-ranked USC last weekend.
Liz Kreek led the Sun Devils with two goals on Sunday, both coming in the second half. Five other ASU players scored on the day, but it wasn’t enough.
The Bruins jumped out to an early 2-0 lead before Alkistis Benekou got ASU on the board with her first of the game. UCLA got two more on the board before Chiappini answered with her first goal.
UCLA answered with two more goals of their own for a decisive 6-2 lead to finish out the first.
The Sun Devils attempted to mount a rally in the second, outscoring UCLA 4-2 to open the half and cut the deficit back to two with 6:40 to go in the fourth quarter on Kreek’s second goal of the game. The team would exchange another set of goals to keep the deficit at two at 9-7 with 5:35 left in the game and UCLA would go on to score the final two goals of the game to pull away down the stretch.
The Sun Devils return to action this Saturday as the team will host the ASU Invitational at the Mona Plummer Aquatic Center beginning on Friday, March 14. ASU will open the tournament that Friday at Noon PT against Marist.