No. 2 USC Fires Back For 6-3 Win At No. 5 Cal|
April 15, 2017
BERKELEY, CALIF. — The No. 2 USC women’s water polo team found the surge it needed to power out of a slow first half in Berkeley today, firing off four goals in the third period to net a 6-3 comeback win over No. 5 host California. Ioanna Haralabidis, Brigitta Games and Maud Megens each scored twice in the win, while goalie Amanda Longan collected 11 saves. With her pair of goals today, Games moved up USC’s all-time scoring ladder to crack the top-20, now at No. 19 all-time with 120 career goals. The road victory is a key lift for the Women of Troy, who improve to 26-1 overall and to 4-1 in MPSF play with the result, while Cal goes to 14-7, 2-4.
After a string of misfires by the Trojans, the Golden Bears got the first leg up in the game with a score on a 6-on-5 during the first period. The second frame would unfurl as a defensive stalemate once again until USC senior Brigitta Games broke through for the Trojans with a turn and finish at set to lock the game up at 1-1. That would hold until halftime, and in the third period the Trojans would make their move.
Maud Megens earned a power play for USC and Ioanna Haralabidis’ blast would be too hot for the Cal goalie to handle as the Trojans edged into the lead, up 2-1. Cal would get the chance to pull even with a 5-meter penalty shot, but the attempt would bar out and USC goalie Amanda Longan was there to stop the try off the rebound. Freshman Megens would rise up for back-to-back big goals for USC next, sizzling in a score off the foul and then rifling in another goal a minute later to tug the Trojans ahead 4-1. Less than a minute after that, USC got up on a 6-on-5, where Ioanna Haralabidis found Games for the slam to make it 5-1 Trojans on a five-goal scoring surge. Cal would snap the run with a goal in the final minute of the frame, and USC gripped a 5-2 lead entering the fourth.
The scoring clip slowed a bit again in the fourth, but USC’s Ioanna Haralabidis ripped in a goal from the corner to make it a 6-2 USC lead with 3:21 left to play. Cal would score two minutes later, but that would wrap the scoring action on the day as USC emerged victorious with the 6-3 MPSF road win.
The Trojans now turn to finish off the regular season with a crosstown rivalry clash against UCLA next week. The MPSF title is on the line in this one, as the Bruins host the Trojans in a 1 p.m. televised showdown on Saturday (April 22) in Westwood.
#2 USC 6, #5 California 3
SAVES: Amanda Longan (USC) 11, Madeline Trabucco (CAL) 12.