Trojans Power Through NCAA Play-In To Stake A Claim On Semis|
Dec. 3, 2015
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. — The USC men’s water polo team powered up for a potent 20-5 win over visiting Claremont-Mudd-Scripps to secure a spot in the NCAA Semifinals. The Trojans took out the Stags in tonight’s NCAA Play-in Game at Uytengsu Aquatics Center with 12 different Trojans getting to the back of the net in the must-win situation. USC is in the NCAA Tournament for an unprecedented 11th straight season, and is looking to make its way to an 11th consecutive NCAA title match. Now 21-6 overall, the Trojans will face No. 2 seeded California at 6:12 p.m. on Saturday (Dec. 5) in the NCAA Semifinals at UCLA’s Spieker Aquatics Center in Westwood.
With goalie McQuin Baron in the cage, the Trojans would shut out Claremont-Mudd-Scripps in the first half of play. USC’s team effort saw nine different Trojans score goals in the first 16 minutes of action as USC piled up a 12-0 advantage over the Stags by halftime. USC’s 4-0 lead in the first frame ballooned in the second as the Trojan offense caught fire, rifling in six goals in a three-minute span to help build that daunting lead. Senior Mac Carden also got in on the scoring action, while delivering back-to-back booming field blocks on the defensive end. By halftime, Grant Stein, Zach D’Sa and Nick Bell had each tallied a pair of goals for the Trojan cause, but USC kept coming in the second half.
Ben Goncharenko would take over the cage for the second half, and USC’s offense kept clicking. Blake Edwards, Nick Silvers and Nick Lavayen each joined the scoring party with their first goals of the game, and Goncharenko collected his first save of his stand in goal. CMS would snap USC’s 15-0 run with a score with 2:33 on the clock in the third, only to see Lachlan Edwards get in a groove. Edwards blasted in three consecutive goals for the Trojans, ripping in scores from set off feeds from freshmen Lavayen, Silvers and D’Sa. Edwards’ fourth goal of the night had USC up 18-2 on the Stags, bringing up the final period of play. CMS would manage three goals in the last eight minutes of action, while Lazar Pasuljevic and Grant Stein each struck for the Trojans. That helped Stein wrap up his hat trick, and moved the Trojans toward their final 20-5 victory over CMS.
USC also was the host site for the other NCAA Play-in Game tonight. In that one, UC San Diego topped Princeton 12-7 to earn a place in Saturday’s semifinal against top-seeded UCLA.
USC now heads to Westwood for a crucial rubber match against California as the Trojans and the Golden Bears square off in the NCAA Semifinals on Saturday (Dec. 5). At 6:12 p.m. that night, USC and Cal will fight for a place in the title match, which is set for Sunday (Dec. 6) also at UCLA’s Spieker Aquatics Center.
2015 NCAA PLAY-IN GAMES
UC San Diego 12, Princeton 7
SAVES: Vojislav Mitrovic (PU) 10, Jack Turner (UCSD) 11.