The NCAA Women’s Water Polo Championship took place on May 10-12, 2013 at Harvard University. Eight teams participated, six of which were conference champions from the MPSF, WWPA, SCIAC, CWPA, MAAC, and Big West, joined by two at-large bids.
With the conclusion of final exams, members of the Boston University Men’s Water Polo team spent the day at Harvard’s Blodgett Pool experiencing a display of top-notch water polo.
The first game of the day was for seventh place between Pomona-Pitzer and Iona. It was a tightly contested match as points were traded back and forth. A winner was not decided until the very end when a player from Pomona-Pitzer unleashed a devastating buzzer-beater to seal the victory. Final Score: 13 – 12 (Pomona-Pitzer)
The excitement continued in game two, where Princeton and UCSD fought for fifth place. UCSD had led for majority of the game but Princeton staged an excellent comeback that was unanswered by UCSD. Final Score: 12- 10 (Princeton)
The competition heated in the third place game between Hawaii and UCLA. While UCLA finished on top by a sizable margin, it was a fierce battle nonetheless. Hawaii demonstrated exquisite ball-handling skills with quick, clean passes. Hawaii’s number 5 led the team with five astonishing goals. While UCLA did come out on top, Hawaii had the last laugh as a skillfully placed lob met the back of UCLA’s net at the final second. Final Score: 13 – 8 (UCLA)
The championship game between No.1 USC and No.2 Stanford was an absolute thriller that kept everyone on the edge of their seats through to the FIFTH overtime period. Stanford stole the early lead with two goals to end the first quarter at 2-0. At half, Stanford maintained the two goal lead and was still ahead after the third quarter. USC had managed to pull ahead for a one goal advantage in the fourth quarter. So, with the clock ticking down in the final possession, Stanford drew an ejection for a man-up opportunity. A first attempt was made as a pass from the wing connected with a backhand redirect from the post. The goalie handled this as the ball was knocked out of bounds. Stanford maintained composure, working the ball around the perimeter. In the last seconds of the game, the ball found its way inside again but this time to the back of the net. Tie game.
As if the game had not been close enough, the winner of this game remained undecided even after the double overtime periods. It was not until the fifth overtime (sudden death) that USC snatched the victory on a shot off of a foul.
An exciting day and a wonderful learning experience – the NCAA championship at Blodgett Pool was an absolute treat. Please visit the Media page for clips from the championship game!