Bears to face Card for NCAA title

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The Big Splash doesn't get much bigger than this, does it?

After losing to top-ranked Stanford in April and missing out on the MPSF's top seed, the Cal women's water polo can claim quite a consolation prize: its first ever national title.

An all-Bay Area championship match will take place on Sunday at 1:30 p.m., after the Bears and Cardinal knocked off the Los Angeles schools in Saturday's national semifinals.

Behind a hat trick from junior Emily Csikos and 11 saves from goalkeeper Stephanie Peckham, No. 2 Cal clinched its spot in the NCAA final with a hard-fought 7-4 victory over UCLA.

The Bears built a 3-2 halftime edge, only to see the Bruins pull even twice in the third period. However, Kelly Mendoza helped secure the win with a pair of big-time goals.

After UCLA's KK Clark knotted the contest at 4-4 with 38 seconds left in the third period, Cal's freshman driver found the net as time expired to give her team the lead for good.

With the defense pitching a fourth-quarter shutout, Mendoza beat Bruin goalie Caitlin Dement at the 3:39 mark to seal the final tally.


Ed Yevelev covers women's water polo. Contact him at [email protected]

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