USA-Australia Showcase Doubles As Trojan Reunion|
May 23, 2016
On Sunday (May 22), a pre-Olympic showcase of the United States and Australian men’s and women’s national teams also presented the opportunity for a reunion for USC water polo. Nine Trojans — past and present — were back on the pool deck at Uytengsu Aquatics Center, capped up not in Cardinal and Gold but in the colors of their respective nations.
On the Australia men’s roster, a trio of Trojans stood tall. Former USC goalies Joel Dennerley and James Clark — both NCAA champions while at USC — both capped up in the cage for the Aussies and combined for 11 saves. Current USC player Lachlan Edwards also checked in and plugged in a goal for his Australian squad to help lift the Aussies to an 8-6 win over Team USA. Meanwhile, the U.S. men’s roster boasted a pair of Trojans in current USC goalie McQuin Baron and recent graduate Nikola Vavic. Baron gathered up three saves during the second half of action, and Vavic added a big goal for Team USA.
After the waves settled out from the men’s competition, the U.S. and Australian women took the stage at a packed Uytengsu Aquatics Center. On the Australian roster were Jayde Appel and Hannah Buckling — both members of USC’s 2013 NCAA Championship squad. Appel was listed as an alternate for the exhibition game, and Buckling punched in two goals for the Aussies in the high-scoring affair. Appel and Buckling squared off against former teammate Kaleigh Gilchrist — another 2013 NCAA champ — as well as 2010 NCAA champion and two-time Olympian Kami Craig. Gilchrist would drum up two goals for Team USA in a final 14-11 victory for the Americans over the Aussies.
The doubleheader event was televised live on NBC Sports Network and presented an exciting look at four teams taking aim at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Final 13-player rosters have yet to be set for all four teams as they continue a stretch of training and competition in the run-up to the Games.