No. 2 USC Rolls Into NorCal Semifinal Spot|
Sept. 19, 2015
PALO ALTO, CALIF. -- The No. 2 USC men's water polo team forged a powerful path to tomorrow's semifinal match at the Kap7 NorCal Invitational thanks to a winning effort in group play today at Stanford's Avery Aquatic Center. The Trojans blanked Redlands in the first half and shut out No. 8 UC Irvine in the final period en route to respective 27-3 and 12-4 victories. USC will take an 8-0 overall record into a 12:15 p.m. semifinal bout tomorrow (Sept. 20) against host Stanford as the Trojans look to get to the tournament title match.
The Trojans kicked off the day with a morning session against Redlands, scoring the first 19 goals of the game as USC charged out to a 19-0 lead. USC spread the wealth handily in this one, with redshirt freshman Chase Koplow leading the charge. Koplow set his career high with four goals tallied -- all in the third period of play. Mac Carden was next in line with a hat trick coming from the redshirt senior captain. By the time the horn sounded on a 27-3 victory for USC, 15 different Trojans had struck the back of the net in the win, including the first career goal for freshman Nick Lavayen.
The win advanced the Trojans into an afternoon clash against No. 8 UC Irvine. There, the Trojans stayed strong and forced their way to a 6-1 lead after the first minutes of action on scores from six different players. The Anteaters forced the issue in the second frame as the USC offense sputtered, making it a 6-3 halftime score. At the close of the third, USC held an 8-4 advantage, but the Trojans were all business in the final stretch. USC silenced the Anteaters while plugging in four goals of its own to wrap the day's action with a 12-4 win, led by a hat trick from Luke Felton and 14 saves in the cage from McQuin Baron. That punched USC's ticket to tomorrow's semifinal round, where the Trojans will play for a spot in Sunday's title match.
KAP7 NORCAL INVITATIONAL
#2 USC 12, #8 UC Irvine 4
SAVES: McQuin Baron (USC) 14, UCI n/a.