Four NCAA-Bound Trojans Earn All-MPSF Honors|
Nov. 24, 2015
As the USC men’s water polo team lines up for an unprecedented 11th consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament, four Trojans have picked up All-MPSF honors to add to their resumes. Of the four-man crew, sophomore goalie McQuin Baron is the only repeat honoree. This year’s spot on the All-MPSF Second Team follows up last year’s All-MPSF Honorable Mention. Leading the charge for the USC group this season is newcomer Blake Edwards, who opens his USC career with a spot on the All-MPSF First Team. Meanwhile, two sophomores have grabbed their first career conference honors, as Lachlan Edwards joins Baron on the All-MPSF Second Team and Grant Stein has earned All-MPSF Honorable Mention.
Newcomer Blake Edwards made an immediate impact for the Trojans, and has rightfully taken a spot on the All-MPSF First Team in his first year at Troy. The Australian import leads USC in scoring with 63 goals — 8th most scored in a single season by a Trojan — and is also second in the MPSF in scoring this season. His hat trick in the MPSF Third-Place game over the weekend was instrumental in powering up the Trojans for an upset of Pacific that all but secured USC’s spot in the coming NCAA Tournament. Edwards has scored in 22 of USC’s 26 games to date, with multiple-goal outings in 17 different games, including a career-high six scored vs. Whittier earlier in the year. Edwards also was named to the MPSF All-Tournament Team this week.
Sophomore goalie McQuin Baron set the USC single-season saves record as a freshman last year, and he’s on track to potentially beat his own record this season. With 246 saves in 2015 to date, Baron is averaging 10.7 saves per game, thanks in part to five double-digit saves outings in the past six games. He set a new career high with 19 saves in USC’s overtime win over Stanford in the MPSF Quarterfinals, and now ranks No. 7 all-time in career saves at Troy with 534 collected in just under two seasons of work. Now, Baron has a spot on the All-MPSF Second Team, upgrading his Honorable Mention status from his freshman campaign.
Fellow sophomore Lachlan Edwards also has come up big for the Trojans in 2015. The powerful two-meter man has plugged in 33 goals for the Trojan cause this season, while also earning numerous ejections through his strength at set. The Aussie has struck the back of the net in 18 games this year, with nine multiple-goal outings. He set a new career high for himself with four goals scored at California last month. For his dominating work this year, the younger Edwards has secured himself a spot on the All-MPSF Second Team.
The third first-timer on the All-MPSF honor roll is sophomore Grant Stein, who is the Trojans’ second leading scorer to date. He’s upgraded his freshman goal tally by plugging in 41 goals for USC this season, giving him 73 in his young Trojan career so far. Stein has struck in 22 games in 2015, with 12 multiple-goal outings, including a four-goal explosion to help lift USC past Stanford in last week’s MPSF Quarterfinals. Stein has locked in with All-MPSF Honorable Mention for his efforts on the year.
The Trojans now set up for their 11th consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament, opening this 2015 tourney with a Play-in game next week. USC will tangle with Claremont-Mudd-Scripps at 7 p.m. on Dec. 3 at the Trojans’ home pool — Uyyengsu Aquatics Center — to fight for a place in the NCAA Semifinals. UCLA will host the NCAA semis and final rounds at Spieker Aquatics Center in Westwood, Calif., from Dec. 5-6. The Trojans are looking to make an 11th straight appearance in the NCAA title match, having won seven national championships in the past 10 trips to the tourney.
All-MPSF Honorable Mention