ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Newport Harbor High product Jessica Robinson scored a key goal to help the No. 2-seeded Cal women's water polo team defeat No. 3 UCLA, 7-4, in an NCAA semifinal match Saturday at the University of Michigan.
Cal will face its rival, top-seeded Stanford, in the final Sunday at 1:30 p.m. Pacific Time.
Stanford, which features Corona del Mar High alumni Kate Baldoni and Victoria Kennedy, got past No. 4 USC, 8-4, in another semifinal match.
Robinson, a junior lefty driver for Cal, picked a good time to score her 10th goal of the season. Her six-on-five strike from the outside gave the Golden Bears (26-4) a 4-3 lead midway through the third period.
UCLA scored the next goal, but Cal would score the final four goals of the game.
UCLA (25-7) featured Corona del Mar High products Leslee Kaczmarek and Victoria Kent on its roster.
Stanford (27-1) never trailed its semifinal victory over USC, which had four former Newport Harbor players – Nicolina McCall, Kaleigh Gilchrist, Colleen McCall and Adrienne Taylor – on its roster. The Trojans (19-7) also have Newport Beach native Chelsea Silvers, who attended Mater Dei.
Baldoni, a sophomore, has been splitting time in goal this year for the Cardinal. But in the semifinal, former Foothill standout Amber Oland, a senior, played the whole way in goal for Stanford.
Cal is searching for its first national title in program history. Stanford seeks its second title, and first since 2002.
UCLA and USC will play in the third-place match at noon Pacific Time.
— Matt Szabo