No. 3 USC Shoves Its Way To MPSF Semis With 17-2 Quarterfinal Win|
April 28, 2017
WESTWOOD, CALIF. -- The No. 3 USC water polo team was decisive in securing a noter semifinal spot at the MPSF Tournament, rattling off 11 straight goals out of the gates en route to a 17-2 victory over No. 14 San José State today in Westwood. The quarterfinal win saw 12 different Trojans hit the back of the net, led by senior captain Avery Peterson's three-goal day. The win puts USC at 27-2 overall and carries the Trojans on to tomorrow's 12:45 p.m. semifinal against No. 2 Stanford at UCLA's Spieker Aquatics Center.
USC's balance was on full display in the first half as the Trojans rendered the Spartans scoreless while piling up 10 goals. Brianna Daboub opened the day's offensive explosion with a goal on USC's first possession, and after a Hayley McKelvey steal it was Maud Megens with the rifle shot not 15 seconds later for a 2-0 advantage. The Trojans would keep their foot on the gas as four more Trojans tacked up scores in the first frame. In the second, McKelvey became the first Trojan to score a second goal, and Avery Peterson followed in her footsteps minutes later after a 6-on-5 earned by Brigitta Games. Her hat trick would be complete with a solo mission at set to make it 9-0 before freshman Denise Mammolito capped the half's scoring with a skip off the counter to make it a 10-0 USC lead at the break.
The Trojans kept firing in the third when Stephania Haralabidis finished off a counterattack to start and then Megens hammered home her second goal to make it 12-0. San José State broke its silence with a skipper that made its way through with 5:24 on the clock to get on the board at 12-1. Goalie Victória Chamorro squashed a Spartan close-range shot next -- one of her 10 saves on the day -- and then Peterson found fellow senior Nikki Stansfield for a rocket that got USC back on track, up 13-1. Two new Trojan scorers would get in on the action in the remainder of the third, with Stansfield feeding Brigitta Games for the turn and strike out of set, and then hitting Annika Jensen for a skipper with 1:12 to go. In the final seconds of the frame, Elise Stein plugged her her second goal of the game, and it was a 16-1 USC lead entering the fourth. Things would slow down in the final stretch. Kaylee Brownsberger fired in the opening goal to net a 17-1 USC lead before SJSU earned a 5-meter penalty shot and converted at 6:21 to get it to 17-2. Defenses would win out the rest of the way, and USC wrapped up the win to punch its ticket to the MPSF semifinals.
2017 MPSF CHAMPIONSHIPS (Spieker Aquatics Center | Westwood, Calif.)
SAVES: Victória Chamorro (USC) 10, Katelyn Thompson (SJSU) 2 [1st half], Tayler Peters (SJSU) 3 [2nd half].