No. 4 USC Jams Pepperdine 21-5 In MPSF Opener|
Sept. 27, 2014
MALIBU, CALIF. -- The No. 4 USC men's water polo team forced its way to a conference-opening victory with authority today, breaking open the game at No. 11 Pepperdine for a 21-5 win in Malibu. The Trojans plunked in the first three goals of the game and steadily increased their vice grip on the game. In the final frame, USC left no doubt in pinning up eight more goals to register the dominating 1-0 start to MPSF action. Kostas Genidounias delivered his second during that final frame, pulling himself into a tie at No. 2 in USC's career scoring chart. The Trojans now hold an 11-2 overall record on the year.
Trojan goalies McQuin Baron and Ben Goncharenko split time in the cage in the first half, with Goncharenko pitching a shut out in the second period as USC built a 4-2 first-quarter lead into an 8-2 halftime advantage. Baron took over once again in the second half, while the Trojans put their foot on the offensive gas. Freshman Bryce Hoerman had the hottest hand down the stretch in blasting three more goals to finish out the game with a career-high four. In the third period, freshman Lazar Pasuljevic zipped in the first goals of his Trojan career, tacking up two as USC built its advantage out to 13-4 entering the final frame.
It was the fourth period that saw the Trojans fully hit their stride at both ends of the pool. Pepperdine was only able to crack the Trojan defense with an early goal, making it 13-5 but only serving to spark USC for the final sprint to the end. James Walters started the rally on USC's next possession, and it was all-Trojans the rest of the way. Genidounias zipped in his second of the day with a 5-meter blast to make it 15-5, and USC just kept chugging. Max Hurst-Mendoza delivered next before Hoerman went back-to-back. Matteo Morelli wrapped goals around one from Lachlan Edwards, who was finishing off his hat trick, and USC had a 21-5 victory in the books.
USC will now finally return to home waters next weekend to continue its MPSF mission. The Trojans are set to host UC Santa Barbara at 12 p.m. on Saturday (Oct. 4) for USC's home opener at Uytengsu Aquatics Center. That match will be followed by the USC Alumni Game at 1:30 p.m.
#4 USC 21, #11 Pepperdine 5