Games Goes Big In Back-to-Back Wins For Streaking Women of Troy|
March 25, 2017
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. — The No. 1 USC women’s water polo team churned out two more wins to tack onto its record win streak, notching a 19-3 MPSF win over No. 14 San José State and then turning right around to craft a 21-5 victory over No. 18 Hartwick. The undefeated 24-0 Trojans now boast a 51-game win streak after collecting those back-to-back wins today at Uytengsu Aquatics Center. The win over SJSU also improves USC to 2-0 in MPSF competition.
The driving force in USC’s offensive onslaught in home waters was senior Brigitta Games. She’d rip through to a career-high seven goals against the Spartans before delivering four more in the win over the Hawks. Just behind her on the scoring front today was fellow senior Stephania Haralabidis, who had four goals in game one before adding on a hat trick in game two. With her second goal against Hartwick, Haralabidis moved up to rank No. 2 all-time in career scoring at USC. She now hold 253 career goals to stand alone as USC’s second leading scorer in program history.
Against the Spartans in the first clash of the day, Brigitta Games scored four straight goals for the Trojans, dominating at two-meters and powering up to net USC a 5-2 lead. After a searing skipper from freshman Denise Mammolito, Games busted out another big goal off a feed from Brianna Daboub, registering a new career high for the senior with her fifth goal of the first half. Games would plug in two more goals in the second half to build out a new career best for herself, while continuing to carry her Trojans to the MPSF victory. Stephania Haralabidis stepped in at the close of the first half and rifled in three straight scores to close out a 10-3 halftime advantage for the Trojans over the Spartans.
USC’s defense would pitch a shutout against San José State in the second half while plugging in nine more goals for the Trojan cause. While Games worked her way out to a seven-goal game, freshmen Mammolito and Maud Megens delivered their second goals during that second half stretch. Starting goalie Victória Chamorro manned the cage for the first three periods, allowing just three goals including a 5-meter penalty shot from the Spartans. Freshman Holly Parker took over for the final frame, and made two saves while rendering SJSU silent in those last eight minutes to close out the 19-3 victory.
After a brief break to regroup after the first game, USC turned to take on No. 18 Hartwick. The quick reset saw the Trojans tangled up early with the Hawks, having to break a couple of early ties. After Hartwick closed to within one, down 4-3 on a 5-meter penalty shot in the late stages of the first period, USC got its groove back. Six straight Trojan scores would follow, with Maud Megens striking twice during that rally off feeds from Stephania Haralabidis. Hartwick got two goals to go in the final four minutes of the second frame, but USC countered with three more goals to hold a 14-5 lead by halftime.
Once again, USC put its silencers on in the second half of action. Once Amanda Longan closed out her three periods of work with 10 saves, Holly Parker stepped in once again and helped close out yet another shutout frame on the defensive end. And while Hayley McKelvey continued to rack up steals for the Trojans, Brigitta Games locked in with a second-half hat trick to finish out a four-goal game and an 11-goal day for herself. Courtney Fahey nabbed two last steals for the Trojans, and USC had a 21-5 win in the books to extend its national women’s record win streak out to 51 in a row.
USC’s next action comes up next week with an MPSF matchup against Arizona State. The Trojans and Sun Devils will face off at USC’s Uytengsu Aquatics Center at 12:30 p.m. in a televised matchup on Pac-12 Network.
#1 USC 19, #14 San José State 3
#1 USC 21, #18 Hartwick 5