Bruins Finish Season With Solid Showing at WCLA National Tournament
May. 16, 2012
After an impressive third place finish over UC Davis at WWLL Playoffs, the Bruins earned a No. 9 seed to the 2012 WCLA Division 1 tournament May 9-12 in Colorado Springs. The week kicked off with a rematch against a familiar WWLL Central opponent, the No. 8 seeded Chapman Panthers. Chapman came out hard, going on an early 4-0 run in the first half. But the Bruins turned up the heat and went on a 7-0 run of their own to take a 7-4 lead with about 20 minutes remaining in the second half. UCLA never looked back, controlling most of the game's possession to end with a 13-8 victory over the Panthers. Senior Morgan Oberstein led the offensive effort with 6 points, and sophomore Courtney Randall added 4 goals of her own. Junior Margaret Nettleton tallied 3 ground ball controls and 3 caused turnovers in the midfield, while senior Allie Roe added another 5 ground ball controls.
The following day, UCLA was faced with the tough challenge of No. 1 seed Colorado State. In their last meeting just a month earlier, the Rams squeezed out a 13-12 win on their home field in Fort Collins. The Bruins kept the game close throughout the first half, but the Rams put in two goals in the final 3 minutes of the period to go into the break leading 8-5. The highly physical nature of the game proved too much for the Bruins in the end, as they fell 14-8. Freshman Molly Tracy had a stand out game netting a goal and controlling 4 ground balls. Goalie Devon Comito had 13 saves and 2 ground ball controls as she anchored the Bruin defense.
Friday afternoon, the Bruins faced yet another WWLL squad, the Santa Clara Broncos. In their previous meeting, UCLA came out on top with a 15-14 win in overtime. The Broncos had a strong first period, taking an 8-5 lead at halftime. The Bruins had trouble converting on offensive possessions throughout, but outscored the Broncos 4-0 in the final 6 minutes in an effort to take back the game. Even with a successful high pressure defense and multiple offensive threats, the Bruins did not have enough time to complete the comeback, and dropped their second game of the week 12-10. Comito led the defensive effort with 3 interceptions and 6 saves. Eight different Bruins put up points on the attack.
In their final game of the week, the Bruins faced No. 6 seed University of Central Florida on Saturday morning. UCLA dominated possession throughout the first period of play, but only converted on 4 of 17 shots on goal, allowing UCF to stay close with just a one goal lead at the half. The Knights fought back in the second half to tie the game at 8 and force overtime. The Bruins again dominated possession, winning 3 of 4 draws in the overtime period and outscoring the Knight 2-0 for the 10-8 victory. UCLA out-shot UCF 30 to 13 in the match, as well as won 12 of 22 draw controls. Oberstein led the offense with 6 points, followed by senior Allie Simpson with 4 points. Tracy earned her spot on the Division 1 WCLA All-Tournament Team in another stand out game, with 4 caused turnovers, 8 ground ball controls, and 2 draw controls.
UCLA ended with a record of 2-2 over the four day tournament, and a 7th place finish. This is the second consecutive top-eight finish for the Bruins. No. 10 seed UC-Davis went on to win the Division 1 National Championship over defending champion, Colorado State. No. 12 seed Santa Clara took 5th place, while No. 2 seed UC-Santa Barbara finished in 6th putting four WWLL teams in the 2012 tournament's top 8 teams. For full coverage of the event, head to Lacrosse Magazine Online.
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