The top ranked UCLA Bruins do what they do best and that is turn up the pressure in the second half of games, and that is how they defeated No. 4 Arizona St. Sun Devils 8-6. Arizona State had a 5-4 halftime lead, but UCLA outscored Arizona State 3-0 in the third quarter and 4-1 overall in the second half.
Arizona State got on the board first on a power-play goal by Alicia Brightwell which was her first of four goals midway through the first quarter. UCLA tied the game when Sarah Orozco drew a five-meter penalty shot and then took the shot her self to tie the game. The end of the quarter ended on a goal by Anna Kertes to give Arizona State a 2-1 lead after one.
The offenses fort both teams picked up in the second quarter as each team scored three goals. Arizona State scored first to increase their lead to 3-1, but UCLA's K.K. Clark converted on her first of two penalty shots to cut the lead to one. Arizona State would go onto score the next two goals to go up 5-2 on two straight goals by Mariam Salloum and Brightwell. UCLA responded with a pair of goals to trail only 5-4 at the half.
Arizona State was looking strong, but halftime adjustments by UCLA were the key as they came out a different team and held Arizona State scoreless while scoring three in the quarter and five straight unanswered to lead 7-5 after three periods.
In the fourth Arizona State did cut it to one on Brighwell's fourth goal of the game, but Orozco put the game out of reach with a goal with 2:35 left in the game.
The closeness of this game shows that Arizona State can compete with the best teams in the country and should be able to make a run in the MPSF tournament and possibly the NCAA tournament.
Arizona State's next MPSF contest comes against the USC Trojans on March 24 at home and then they go on the road to take on the Stanford Cardinal on March 31. Those results were help determine if Arizona State is a contender.
UCLA's next game is on the road at the Hawaii Warriors on March 31.
ASU Goals: Alicia Brightwell 4, Anna Kertes, Mariam Salloum
ASU Saves: Ianeta Hutchinson 5
UCLA Goals: KK Clark 3, Emily Greenwood 2, Becca Dorst, Sarah Orozco, Hannah Sebenaler
UCLA Saves: Caitlin Dement 7