Monica Vavic Sets USC Scoring Record In 17-9 Win Over ASU

    Monica Vavic cemented her spot as USC's all-time leading scorer, now with 257 career goals.
    March 13, 2015

    LOS ANGELES, CALIF. -- The No. 3 USC women's water polo team hit the gas in the second period to play to leave visiting No. 6 Arizona State in the dust as the Trojans rolled up a 17-9 win over the Sun Devils. Along the way, USC senior Monica Vavic punched up a four-goal game that propelled her to the top of USC's all-time scoring list. Now with 257 career goals, Vavic stands as USC's career scoring leader, having taken over the spot held by Olympian Aniko Pelle since 2002. Vavic was one of five Women of Troy to tally multiple-goal efforts in today's win, which improved USC to 15-2 overall and now 1-1 in MPSF play. ASU goes to 12-4, 1-1.

    The Sun Devils came ready to play, eager to replicate the upset win they managed in last year's MPSF Tournament matchup with USC at Uytengsu Aquatics Center. After a tight first period, ASU forced a 2-2 snarl with a 6-on-5 strike on its first possession of the second frame, but USC promptly switched gears. The Women of Troy opened up a daunting advantage with a rapid-fire six-goal surge. Jennifer Stiefel returned the favor on an earlier assist from Stephania Haralabidis to set up the spark. Haralabidis' ripper on a Trojan power play recorded the sophomore's 100th career goal and nudged USC to a 3-2 lead, which would balloon to an 8-2 margin just over four minutes later. Haralabidis struck twice during the scoring blitz, as did Stiefel, who was the first Trojan to hit a hat trick on the day. Melissa Bergesen got in on the action early, and Monica Vavic broke the seal on her big day when she finished off a counterattack feed from Victoria Chamorro to finish off the rally and make it 8-2. ASU would manage back-to-back goals before the halftime horn sounded, leaving it as an 8-4 USC lead at the break.



    Early on in the third, Haralabidis earned a 5-meter penalty shot for the Trojans, and Vavic lined up for the take. The senior delivered, and in doing so pulled even with Pelle at the No. 1 spot in the USC history books. The Sun Devils responded and made it 9-5 with a successful 6-n-5 just 30 seconds later, only to see the Women of Troy regroup and manufacture an even more powerful wave of goals. Seven straight USC scores came next, once again opened up with a blast from Haralabidis -- that one off a cross from Avery Peterson. Stiefel would serve up assists on the next two Trojan attacks, first to Daube for a low-corner rocket that made it 11-5. Later, Stiefel found Vavic, and Vavic nailed the record-setter with a bullet to the back of the net -- giving the senior 256 career goals and taking the Trojans to a 12-5 advantage over the Sun Devils. Chamorro hit Vavic for one more, for good measure, soon after, and the Trojans were chugging right along well out of reach of the Sun Devils. Brigitta Games buried the fifth consecutive score for USC with a power move and finish from set to make it 14-5 at the close of the third.

    To open the final frame, Daube whipped in two more, first on a power play and then on a nifty score out of set to lift USC to a 16-5 lead with 6:24 left to play. ASU snapped the seven-goal surge with a 6-on-5 score on its next possession, only to see the Trojans do the same with a Jayde Appel blast just 30 seconds later, making it 17-7 Trojans. The Sun Devils scored the final three goals of the game, but USC's hefty lead held the hosts powerfully in control as the game wrapped up as a 17-9 Trojan victory.

    USC now turns to a trip to Hawai'i, where the Trojans will face Pomona-Pitzer at 3 p.m. HT on Thursday (March 19) followed by a 6 p.m. HT clash with host Hawaii'i on Friday (March 20). USC will also play an exhibition match against the Brazilian National Team at 4:30 p.m. HT on Saturday (March 21) in Honolulu.

    #3 USC 17, #6 Arizona State 9
    March 13, 2015 - Uytengsu Aquatics Center (Los Angeles, Calif.)
    USC 2 - 6 - 6 - 3 = 17
    ASU 1 - 3 - 1 - 4 = 9

    USC -- Monica Vavic 4, Jennifer Stiefel 3, Stephania Haralabidis 3, Eike Daube 3, Melissa Bergesen 2, Brigitta Games, Jayde Appel.
    ASU -- Izabella Chiappini 4, Alkistis Benekou 2, Petra Pardi, Viviane Bahia, Kayla Casas.

    SAVES: Victoria Chamorro (USC) 7 [3 periods], Alegra Hueso (USC) 2 [4th period], E.B. Keeve (ASU) 8, Mia Rycraw (ASU) 1 [final 4:18].