Top-Ranked Trojans Trip Stanford In OT To Reach NorCal Title Match
Sept. 16, 2012
STANFORD, CALIF. -- The top-ranked USC men's water polo team served up an overtime victory over No. 4 host Stanford this morning in the semifinals of the NorCal Tournament. The Trojans are gunning for their third straight NorCal title this evening with a championship face-off against UCLA at 6:15 p.m. at Stanford's Avery Aquatic Center. To get in line to defend its back-to-back tourney crowns, the Trojans shrugged off a regulation equalizer by the Cardinal and got it done in overtime, with Jeremy Davie capping a 10-9 OT win with a backhand early in the second overtime period. USC improves to 7-0 with the win over host Stanford.
The Trojans had to make a gut check in the second half of action against their hosts, as the Cardinal took a 5-3 lead during the third frame. Stanford had been up 4-3 at the half before adding to the edge. The Trojans would fire back with three straight goals and took a 6-5 lead on a Nikola Vavic blast with 6:15 to go in the fourth. Stanford pulled even, but USC's Mace Rapsey provided another go-ahead goal for the Trojans for a 7-6 advantage with 2:56 to go in regulation. The teams would continue to go goal-for-goal down the stretch as Stanford answered scores from Kostas Genidounias and Michael Rosenthal, finally forcing overtime with a goal scored with only three second left in regulation.
In overtime, both teams flexed their defensive muscle as both nets were kept clear through the first OT period. Nineteen seconds into the second, however, Jeremy Davie made his strike, ripping in a backhand for a 10-9 USC lead that the Trojans would clutch the rest of the way for the semifinal victory and trip to tonight's title match.
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2012 NORCAL TOURNAMENT (Stanford, Calif.)
SAVES: Ely Bonilla (USC) 12, Platshon (STAN) 9.