Champs Again: USC Beats UCLA For Third Straight NorCal Tournament Title|
Sept. 16, 2012
STANFORD, CALIF. - The top-ranked USC men's water polo team had an all-SoCal matchup once again to decide the NorCal Tournament championship, and for the third straight year the Trojans reigned supreme at the competitive early-season tourney. USC was in control throughout in today's title match against No. 2 UCLA as the Trojans pinned up a 7-6 win over the Bruins to stay undefeated on the 2012 season and bring home another NorCal crown in improving to 8-0 overall on the year.
After an overtime win over Stanford in the morning's semifinal, the Trojans took it to the Bruins to open the title match this evening at Avery Aquatic Center. USC jumped out to a 3-0 lead on rival UCLA in the Trojans' first face-off with the Bruins since beating them in the 2011 NCAA Championship match. A 3-0 lead expanded to a 5-2 halftime advantage, and USC was largely in the driver's seat the rest of the way. UCLA turned a 7-5 USC lead into a 7-6 final with a score just before the buzzer, and the Trojans wrapped up the win. Nikola Vavic paced the Trojans with four goals in the win, with scores also coming from Jeremy Davie, Kostas Genidounias and Michael Rosenthal, while James Clark manned the cage for the Trojans to the tune of 11 saves in his first face-off against the Bruins.
USC now returns home for a televised matchup with California next week. ESPNU will be at McDonald's Swim Stadium to broadcast the game, which is set for 1 p.m. on Sunday (Sept. 23).
2012 NORCAL TOURNAMENT (Stanford, Calif.)
SAVES: James Clark (USC) 11, Rapacz (UCLA) 15.