No. 2 USC Has Home Opener Friday & Road Doubleheader Saturday

    Feb. 1, 2017

    USC Water Polo Release Get Acrobat Reader

    THIS WEEK
    The No. 2 USC women's water polo team sets up for its first game of the year at the Trojans' own Uytengsu Aquatics Center. USC (7-0) has its home opener slated for a 5 p.m. start on Friday (Feb. 3) against San Diego State. The next day, the Trojans will travel to Whittier for a doubleheader at the Whittier Invitational. There, USC faces Pomona-Pitzer at 9 a.m. followed by a 10:30 a.m. matchup against Chapman to wrap up back-to-back action on Saturday (Feb. 4) for the Women of Troy.

    THE LAST MEETING
    USC12
    San Diego State3
    May 13, 2016
    Westwood, Calif.
    Undefeated USC Serves Up 12-3 Win Over SDSU To Reach NCAA Semis
    The top-seeded USC women’s water polo team kept its undefeated 2016 record solidly intact in securing a 12-3 win over San Diego State in today’s NCAA quarterfinal match in Westwood. The Trojans took control early in plugging in four straight goals on the hands of four different scorers. USC’s balance was in full display in the win, with two goalies combining forces to hold the Aztecs to just three goals while seven Trojans notched goals on the day. Now 24-0 overall, USC moves into the NCAA semifinals at 3:30 p.m. tomorrow (May 14) against either Arizona State or Michigan at UCLA’s Spieker Aquatics Complex. USC is aiming to finish off its second undefeated season in program history and capture a fifth national championship this weekend.

    THE LAST MEETING
    USC22
    Pomona-Pitzer3
    March 19, 2015
    Honolulu, Hawai'i
    No. 3 USC Powers Past Pomona-Pitzer In Hawai'i
    The No. 3 USC women's water polo team polished off a powerful 22-3 win over Pomona-Pitzer when the two team clashed in Honolulu today. The Trojans utilized a stifling second period of play to push well out of reach of the Sagehens, as seven different Women of Troy got to the back of the net in that frame to forge a path to victory. The win improves USC to 16-2 overall on the year.

    USC IN THE RANKINGS
    USC opened 2016 ranked No. 2 in the national preseason poll and in the MPSF preseason poll. USC remains the No. 2 team in the land in this fourth week of 2017 competition.

    LAST WEEK
    USC pinned up two more powerful performances in back-to-back games and back-to-back big wins for the Women of Troy in a day's work in Riverside. Fifteen Trojans scored across the two victories, with freshman Alaina Cousineau hitting the back of the net twice for her first career goals as a Trojan. USC improved to 7-0 on the year with the 28-1 win over Concordia and 22-4 win over Whittier out at the CBU Mini Invitational. The first game of the day saw the Trojans roar to an 11-0 lead on Concordia. The Eagles would break through late in the first period, but it would be all USC the rest of the way. Twelve different Women of Troy scored in the win, led by four goals apiece from Maud Megens and Ioanna Haralabidis, while Stephania Haralabidis, Brigitta Games and Elise Stein tallied hat tricks. The goal was manned by Amanda Longan for the first three frames, with the sophomore collecting 12 saves in that span before giving way to freshman Holly Parker, who tallied two saves and no goals allowed in the final period of play. As soon as that match came to a close, USC would reload and refocus on a new opponent, as Whittier then splashed down to take on the Trojans next. USC issued a shutout of the Poets in the first half, amassing an 11-0 lead by halftime with Stephania Haralabidis collecting four of those goals. Whittier would break through in the third, but USC would work out to a 16-3 lead on the way into the fourth quarter. Victória Chamorro was in the cage for those first three frames, making five saves along the way before Parker checked in for the fourth. The freshman made one save as USC poured out six more goals to round out a 22-4 final win. Stephania Haralabidis' eight goals on the day launched the senior three spots up the career ladder, now ranking her No. 6 all-time in career goals with 210.

    STEPH STRIKES IT BIG AT WINTER INVITE
    Stephania Haralabidis set a new career high and tied the MPSF single-game record with nine goals scored in the final game of the Winter Invitational over the weekend. Now, the senior has picked up her fourth career selection as the MPSF Player of the Week and the first of 2017. Haralabidis' nine-goal outburst came in USC's 19-5 win over No. 9 host UC Santa Barbara, marking the Trojans' fifth straight win at the event. Haralabidis let all USC scorers with 17 goals totaled across those five games. She opened the season with a single goal scored in a 17-3 win over No. 8 Michigan on day one. On the second day, Haralabidis scored twice in a 22-1 win over Cal Baptist and punched in two more in a 16-3 win over CSUN. The final day was Haralabidis' big one, as she had a hat trick in a 13-8 win over No. 5 Hawai'i before the record nine-goal explosion against UCSB.

    BY THE NUMBERS
    Through the first seven games of 2017, undefeated USC has outscored opponents 131-25. Senior Stephania Haralabidis is the top scorer to date with 25 goals -- giving her 210 career goals and putting her three goals away from moving up to the No. 5 all-time scoring slot. Behind her on the 2017 scoresheet sits twin sister Ioanna Haralabidis with 17 goals and freshman Maud Megens with 15 goals score in her first seven games as a Trojan. On the defensive end, three goalies have checked into the cage to date. Sophomore Amanda Longan has logged minutes in four games, averaging 11.1 saves and 4.0 goals-against per game. Junior goalie Victória Chamorro has appeared in three games and averages 12.0 saves and 3.1 goals-against per game. One of those outings saw Chamorro collect 11 saves in just one half of action at UCSB. Freshman Holly Parker has also capped up in her first year as a Trojans, making 10 saves and allowing just five goals in her three appearances. The Trojan defense has held six opponents silent in at least one period of play while accumulating a grand total of 13 shutout periods this season so far.

    ON THE RISE
    Greek twins Stephania Haralabidis and Ioanna Haralabidis are climbing in the USC record books. Stephania opened 2016 ranked as USC's No. 8 all-time career scorer. Now seven games into 2017, is closing the gap on the No. 5 spot, holding 210 career goals to date. -- just three away from that next rung on the career ladder. Ioanna, meanwhile, started out 2017 at No. 20 in the record books. After seven games, she has catapulted to No. 15 all-time, holding 135 career goals as of Jan. 30. While those two are rising in the ranks on the offensive end, two Trojans are making their marks on the USC career saves sheet. Junior Victória Chamorro -- who set a USC freshman goalie record with 207 saves in her first season at Troy -- now boasts 301 career saves to rank No. 6 on the career saves charts. Sophomore Amanda Longan is a spot behind, sitting at No. 7 all-time with her 181 saves and counting.

    OH CAPTAINS, MY CAPTAINS
    USC's leadership corps is a veteran pair, with senior Avery Peterson and junior Brianna Daboub standing tall as USC's team captains for the second straight season. Both All-Americans and All-MPSF Honorable Mention recipients, they also are both MPSF Scholar-Athletes. And of course, they captained the Trojans to an undefeated 2016 season to claim their first national crowns. With 61 career goals to her name, Peterson stands out as a 2-meter power for the Trojans. Daboub has rung up 62 goals to date, including a career-best hat trick tallied in the 2016 MPSF Championship game.

    BRINGING BACK THE BALANCE
    USC's 2017 roster looks strikingly similar to last year's NCAA Championship crew. The Trojans' overall balance is back, with all six top scorers returning, along with an All-American pairing of goalies in sophomore Amanda Longan and junior Victória Chamorro back in the cage. In all, the returning Trojans accounted for 88 percent of the scoring last year, while Longan and Chamorro combined for an average of 8.8 saves and 4.7 goals-allowed per game in 2016.

    THE VETS
    Senior captain Avery Peterson is one of five seniors on the roster for 2017, joined by fellow All-Americans Brigitta Games, Ioanna Haralabidis and Stephania Haralabidis, along with Nikki Stansfield. A further depth charge of veteran talent with winning experience comes from juniors Brianna Daboub, Annika Jensen and Hayley McKelvey. All warriors, all competitors, and all fiercely devoted to their team and the task at hand.

    NETMINDERS
    On last year's All-American list, there was one USC freshman standing tall among them. At 6-foot-2 Amanda Longan was an impact player as soon as she splashed down at Troy, Longan quickly made herself at home as half of an impressive goalkeeping tandem for the Trojans -- sharing time with 2015 All-American and Brazilian Olympian Victória Chamorro. Now a junior-sophomore goalkeeping tandem, Chamorro and Longan are yet another expression of the youth movement making waves alongside USC's juniors and seniors. They have some backup this year as well, with freshman Holly Parker having proven herself fully capable of stepping into the cage as she has logged seven saves and allowed only three goals in her six periods of action so far.

    THE NEW CREW
    When it comes to this year's freshman class, there are already several new faces that are forcing opponents to take notice. Dutch import Maud Megens has emerged as the headliner so far. She tallied 10 goals in her first five games of action to stand as USC's third leading scorer after that first week of work. Denise Mammolito also made noise in week one, punching up six goals, while fellow freshmen Elise Stein, Sawyer Belville and Kaylee Brownsberger also notched their first career goals as Trojans in those first days of competition at the UCSB Winter Invitational.

    2017 TROJANS AT A GLANCE
    The defending national champions are coming off an undefeated run through 2016, with head coach Jovan Vavic at the helm for the 23rd season. The USC women are looking to claim back-to-back national titles for the first time in program history. Their 13th consecutive NCAA appearance was a fortunate one, as the Trojans topped off 2016 by raising the NCAA trophy. Picked No. 2 in the National and MPSF Preseason Polls, the Trojans weigh in just behind top-picked Stanford for the second straight season. USC returns all six 2016 All-Americans, including Cutino Award winner Stephania Haralabidis and Cutino finalist Brigitta Games. In addition to those two powers -- both seniors this year -- USC has seven All-Americans on the roster for 2017. Both All-American captains, Brianna Daboub and Avery Peterson, return, having combined for 63 goals last year. Peterson's career-best 35 goals in 2016 was matched by Ioanna Haralabidis. In all, USC returns 12 members of last season's 16-player NCAA roster. •