Trojans Get Comfy At Home, Beat Pepperdine 14-8
Sept. 26, 2009
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. - The No. 3 USC men's water polo team slid smoothly to a home-opening victory to take a winning start to MPSF competition as the Trojans took down visiting Pepperdine 14-8 at McDonald's Swim Stadium. Hat tricks from Justin Rappel and Kyle Sterling carried the Trojans into control against the No. 8 Waves to lift USC to a 9-1 overall record and 1-0 MPSF mark.
The Trojans got a leg up on their 34th straight home victory and first of the year with a 3-0 jump on the Waves. J.W. Krumpholz earned a converted USC's first 6-on-5 of the game for a 1-0 lead, and Matt Sagehorn slotted a goal next to make it 2-0. Justin Rappel laced a pass in to Kyle Sterling on USC's next power play opportunity, and Sterling had his first of a three-goal day for a 3-0 USC lead. Pepperdine would interrupt the scoring run with a blast from Taylor Watson, but the Trojans responded with a strike from Peter Kurzeka barely 20 seconds later. Krumpholz earned a 5-meter penalty shot next, and the senior nailed the score himself for a 5-1 USC lead at the close of the first period.
In the second frame, goalie Joel Dennerley stuffed a close-range Pepperdine shot that sent USC back on the attack. Devon Borisoff hit Sterling for the ensuing score to take USC ahead 6-1. A Pepperdine 5-meter and a 6-on-5 chance down the stretch pulled the Waves to within three as the score went to 6-3 with 1:16 to go in the half, but another Krumpholz-earned USC man advantage helped USC pull ahead again. The Trojans worked the ball from Anthony Artukovich to Kurzeka and over to Shea Buckner at the top for a bar-in rocket with 3 seconds to go for a 7-3 USC lead.
The third period was an offensive affair at both ends, with five USC goals coming in the frame and four scores by the Waves. USC and Pepperdine traded goals to start as the score became a 10-5 USC lead on Artukovich's first goal of the game. Rappel got his second to punch in back-to-back USC scores, although Pepperdine would do the same next to make it 11-7. USC had the last word in the period, however, as Rappel fired in a crosscage rocket for a 12-7 USC lead with 12 seconds left in the third.
Sterling's third of the day opened up the fourth, and Matt Sagehorn registered the Trojans' 14th and final goal as USC worked toward a 14-8 final on the day. Dennerley finished with eight saves in the win for USC.
The MPSF matchup with Pepperdine was followed by a clash against Long Beach City College, where USC's younger players tacked up a 15-6 win over the visiting Vikings.Redshirt freshman Michael Rosenthal pulled double duty on the day, following up his goal for USC in the Pepperdine match with a four-goal outing against Long Beach City College. Kyle Wootten - sidelined by injury last season - stuck in three for USC in the win. Also netting scores in the game were a batch of redshirt freshmen, as Zayne Belal and Brian Boswell had two apiece and Andrew Reego, Jon Leopold, Stephen Lim and Billy Evashwick each got on the board. Goalies Brett Giery and Will Simon split time in the cage, with Giery grabbing four saves and Simon tallying three with three goals against apiece.
USC's next competition takes the Trojans northward for a 12 p.m. game against California on Saturday (Oct. 3) in Berkeley, and then another 12 p.m. game at Pacific on Sunday (Oct. 4).
#3 USC 14, #8 Pepperdine 8
SAVES: Joel Dennerley (USC) 8, Colin Carroll (PEP) 10.
#3 USC 15, Long Beach City College 6