No. 2 Trojans Top Off Another Triton Invitational Title Run|
Feb. 12, 2017
LA JOLLA, CALIF. -- The No. 2 USC women's water polo team put its silencers on in the fourth period of both contests today to top off another run to a Triton Invitational championship. In the semifinal round against No. 6 Michigan, USC worked out ahead of the Wolverines to notch a 9-5 win and move on to the title match. There, the Trojans whipped up an 8-0 scoring rally to render No. 5 Arizona State silent down the stretch and claim a 12-2 victory over the Sun Devils to earn the tournament crown. USC is now 14-0 overall on the year after a winning weekend in La Jolla.
After taking an early hit on a 5-meter penalty shot to start the semifinal bout against Michigan, USC rattled off the next four goals to work out ahead 4-1. Another Michigan strike made it 4-2 for halftime, with freshman Maud Megens getting to the back of the next twice for the Trojans in that opening stretch. Michigan would close the gap down to one on two occasions in the third, but when the Wolverines cut it to 5-4 the Trojans issued a swift reply. Brianna Daboub, Kelsey McIntosh and Avery Peterson rifled in goals next for the Trojan cause, bumping USC's advantage to 8-4. Michigan would get one to go before the close of the third, but USC clamped down in the fourth. A shutout final frame paired with one last USC goal from Brigitta Games, and USC had that ticket to the title match in-hand with a 9-5 win over Michigan. Amanda Longan registered eight saves for the Trojans in goal to help anchor USC to the win.
In the championship, USC again surrendered the first goal of the contest. And again the Trojans clicked back into gear. Again, Megens delivered the early equalizer, keeping the teams level at 1-1 after one period of play. In the next frame, goalie Victória Chamorro interrupted the ASU attack with a couple key steals and stops while McIntosh punched in the go-ahead goal. Annika Jensen would pad the lead to 3-1 before halftime, and USC would take control in the second half of action. USC's ball movement helped up the Trojans' production. Hayley McKelvey finished off a nice series for USC only to see ASU connect to make it 4-2. The Trojans poured on a run of eight consecutive goals next, rendering the Sun Devils scoreless as USC crafted a 12-2 lead entering the final minute of the game. One last big save from Chamorro -- her 12th save of the game -- wrapped up the resounding victory for the Trojans, while Stephania Haralabidis finished off a hat trick during the surge to victory.
Next up for USC is a trip to Irvine in a couple weeks for action at the UCI Invitational, offering up another chance for the Trojans to defend a tournament crown. Competition runs Feb. 24-26 out at the Anteater Aquatics Center.
TRITON INVITATIONAL (La Jolla, Calif.)