No. 2 Trojans Start Strong In MPSF Play, Beat UC Irvine 18-7
Oct. 5, 2013
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. -- The No. 2 USC men's water polo team was hot out of the gates in opening 2013 MPSF competition with a decisive win today over visiting No. 9 UC Irvine. The Trojans peeled out with seven unanswered goals against the Anteaters and put forth a strong first-half effort en route to a final 18-7 victory. That bumps USC up to 13-1 overall and a 1-0 start to MPSF play.
USC's early-game surge was sparked by a strong move from Jeremy Davie at the two-meter spot. Fellow Aussie Mace Rapsey would fire off three goals in the Trojans' scoring onslaught, pegging three goals to the back of the net to go along with strikes from Rex Butler, Kostas Genidounias and Nikola Vavic as USC amassed a 7-0 lead on its guests. UC Irvine got on the board with a 5-meter penalty shot converted by Mitch Wise -- his first of three goals on the day for the Anteaters. Before the end of the half, Rapsey would deliver his fourth goal while Genidounias added another, although UCI saw Jacob Mourer join Wise on the scoresheet before the break to make it a 9-2 Trojan advantage at halftime.
The Trojans came out for the second half with a three-goal run in which Rapsey sliced in his fifth of the day and took his career count up to 99 goals. The century mark would elude the senior in this one, but there were several other Trojans also at the ready to punch in some scores. In a long third period of play, USC tacked up six goals as Genidounias ran his count up to four on the day and Vavic knocked in his third with a penalty blast. Marc Vonderweidt, too, got in on the scoring action for USC, while UC Irvine managed three goals in the frame to make it a 15-5 USC lead entering the fourth. Vavic scored his fourth in that last period, while Ivan Kustic and Chase Watson plugged in one apiece to help the Trojans answer two Anteater goals with a set of three last Trojan strikes to wrap up the game as an 18-7 USC victory. Goalie James Clark hauled in 11 saves for the Trojans in the win.
The Trojans now turn to action at the SoCal Tournament next weekend, with action running Oct. 12-13 in Irvine, Calif. USC senior Nikola Vavic will enter that weekend needing six goals to take over as USC's all-time scoring leader. He currently holds 215 career goals, while Olympian Juraj Zatovic sits on top with 220.
#2 USC 18, #9 UC Irvine 7
SAVES: James Clark (USC) 11, Michael Bailey (UCI) 7 [3 periods], Alex Kazmier (UCI) 3 [4th period].