No. 1 USC Surges Past No. 4 Sun Devils In 11-4 MPSF Victory|
April 1, 2017
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. -- The No. 1 USC women's water polo team ripped apart a one-goal deficit with a four-goal comeback surge before piling on six goals in the final period of play to put visiting No. 4 Arizona State out of reach in today's MPSF matchup at Uytengsu Aquatics Center. The 11-4 victory improves the Trojans to a perfect 25-0 on the year while extending its record win streak out to 52 in a row. USC also steps out to 3-0 in MPSF play with the win.
Teams were trading takeaways early on as the Trojans struggled to find a rhythm against the Sun Devils. USC freshman Maud Megens broke the silence first with a skipper to make it 1-0 Trojans at 3:22, but ASU fired back and landed an answering goal just 21 ticks later to equalize. On the last possession of the frame, ASU got up on a power play and converted to take a 2-1 lead entering the second period. There, the Trojans were able to get their feet under them a bit. USC's defense allowed no more ASU goals in that eight-minute stretch while Avery Peterson leveled things at 5:28. The go-ahead goal came from Megens four minutes later, and she'd then follow up a Stephania Haralabidis steal with an assist to Hayley McKelvey to net a 4-2 lead for USC at halftime.
The third frame brought another stalemate to the table and both teams misfired on early 6-on-5 chances. Brianna Daboub would squash an ASU possession with a decisive takeaway to keep USC's defense clicking. Not long after, McKelvey found Ioanna Haralabidis who caught the ASU defense off-balance for a searing score that got USC's its fourth straight goal and a 5-1 advantage. The Sun Devils snapped the USC rally with a lob that landed perfectly to make it 5-3, and then McKelvey nabbed two more steals to lock things down for the close of the third. In the fourth, the Trojans hit a serious offensive groove. McKelvey snipered in her second goal to start things off, and Ioanna Haralabidis delivered to the top corner for her second as well. Brigitta Games tallied two goals of her own in that final stretch, hammering home a 5-meter penalty shot earned by Megens and then pounding in the last goal of the game on a feed from Ioanna Haralabidis. In the meantime, Kelsey McIntosh and Stephania Haralabidis also joined the USC scoresheet to help build out that final 11-4 win for the Women of Troy, as ASU managed only a single 6-on-5 strike in the fourth.
USC now sets up for a key MPSF matchup next week with a clash against Stanford. The Trojans host the Cardinal in a 5 p.m. game on Saturday (April 8) at Uytengsu Aquatics Center. Prior to the game, USC will honor its graduating seniors in a Senior Day ceremony. The USC-Stanford game also will be televised on Pac-12 Networks.
#1 USC 11, #4 Arizona State 4
SAVES: Amanda Longan (USC) 8, Mia Rycraw (ASU) 11.