No. 3 USC Whips Up 17-9 Win Over No. 7 Long Beach State To Start MPSF Action|
Sept. 26, 2015
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. -- The No. 3 USC men's water polo team lit up Uytengsu Aquatics Center in its first home game of the year, punching up a 17-9 win over visiting No. 7 Long Beach State to start MPSF play in winning fashion. Nick Bell, Grant Stein and Chase Koplow each delivered a hat trick for the Trojan cause as USC kept the 49ers at bay. The victory puts USC at 10-1 overall and 1-0 in MPSF action.
An early 5-meter penalty shot helped Long Beach State stay even with the Trojans out of the gates, but USC put its foot on the gas soon after. Nick Silvers, Lazar Pasuljevic and Grant Stein each finished of some slick passing series to knock in three goals in a two-minute span to craft a 4-1 advantage. Soon after, McQuin Baron and his stubborn defense squelched a Long Beach State possession, and Chase Koplow promptly drilled a solo shot to the low corner, and USC was up 5-1 in the final minute of the first frame. A late 6-on-5 strike from LBSU snapped the four-goal scoring surge by the Trojans to close the period as a 5-2 USC lead, but the Trojans kept coming in the next stretch.
Grant Stein had his hat trick complete just a minute into the second period, taking a pass from fellow sophomore Bryce Hoerman and hammering it home to make it 6-2 Trojans. Mac Carden would go big next, rifling in a power play score that had USC up 7-2, and Matteo Morelli would get in on the scoring action for USC next. The third sophomore to strike in the game, Morelli nabbed a rebound and fired it through. Two minutes later, Nick Bell generated a wicked power move in front of the cage and ripped in the finishing touch to take the Trojans out to a 9-2 lead. The 49ers would get two goals to go around another blast from Bell, and the half closed down with USC up 10-4.
Back-to-back USC goals kicked of the third in decisive fashion for the Trojans, who had Mihajlo Milicevic jump on the scoresheet to get USC up 12-4. Long Beach State struck back, only to see Bell finish off a 6-on-5 setup from James Walters on USC's next possession to make it 13-5 in the third. With the Trojans decidedly in control, USC still found a way to spread the wealth. By the final buzzer, freshman Zach D'Sa had tallied a goal, while Koplow rounded out his hat trick and Pasuljevic pocketed his second. In the final stages of the game, USC redshirt freshman Brock Hudnut zipped in his first career goal as a Trojan, netting USC's final goal of the game to wrap the 17-9 win.
USC's next action brings Stanford to town for a rematch of last week's visit to Palo Alto. This time, the Trojans host the Cardinal in an MPSF clash, set for 10:30 a.m. on Saturday (Oct. 3) in another Pac-12 Networks televised matchup at Uytengsu Aquatics Center.
#3 USC 17, #7 Long Beach State 9