The University of Hawai'i Rainbow Wahine water polo team began their quest at the 2013 NCAA Championships with a 13-6 quarterfinal win over UC San Diego Friday night at Blodgett Pool on the campus of Harvard University.
UH (22-9) led from wire-to-wire in winning its ninth straight contest and improving to a perfect 4-0 all-time in NCAA quarterfinal matches. The Rainbow Wahine advance to Saturday's semifinals where they will face top-seeded USC at 5:15 p.m. ET (11:15 a.m. HT). The Trojans steamrolled over No. 8 Pomona-Pitzer, 26-1, in their quarterfinal matchup.
Hawai'i was sharp on both ends of the pool. The Rainbow Wahine got a balanced attack with six different players getting in the scoring column-including four players with multiple goals. Leading the way was sophomore attacker Caity Lopes da Silva with a career high four goals.
Meanwhile, the UH defense continued to its stellar play holding the Tritons (25-14) to just three goals for the majority of the match, before surrendering three goals late in the game with the outcome already in hand. Goalkeeper Amy Carlson set the tone early by stuffing a UCSD penalty shot in the first quarter as the Tritons would continue to have difficulty finding the back of the net the rest of the way.
UH defeated UCSD 9-6 in a regular-season meeting in late March. Early on it would look to be a close match once again. UH's Zoe Respondek scored the first two goals of the match though UH held just a 2-1 lead after the first frame. However, it was all Rainbow Wahine after that. UH outscored the Tritons 10-2 over the next two quarter to lead 7-2 at the break and 12-3 after three quarters.