No. 2 Trojans Surge Into SoCal Tournament Semis|
Oct. 12, 2013
NEWPORT BEACH, CALIF. -- The No. 2 USC men's water polo team surged into the semifinals of the 2013 SoCal Tournament with two strong wins today on the first day of competition. With five goals today, Trojan senior Nikola Vavic moved into a tie as USC's all-time leading scorer, now even with Juraj Zatovic with 220 career goals. That puts Vavic within striking distance of taking over at No. 1 tomorrow when the Trojans move into the semifinals of the tourney against either Pacific or UC Santa Barbara at 12:15 p.m. in Irvine, Calif.
To get to that semifinal slot, the Trojans had to take down two opponents today. USC opened the day with a morning matchup against No. 16 St. Francis Brooklyn, and took out the Terriers with a 13-4 win. Kostas Genidounias led the way with a hat trick in that one, as USC shut out St. Francis in the second frame en route to a 7-1 halftime advantage. By game's end, Vavic, Max Hurst-Mendoza and Ivan Kustic would join Genidounias with multiple-goal games, scoring two apiece. Goalies James Clark and Paul Mitre shared time in the cage, with Clark hauling in six saves in the first half and Mitre making five in the second.
That victory put USC up against No. 7 Long Beach State in the afternoon match, playing for the right to step into tomorrow's semifinals. Clark reigned supreme in the cage for the first three frames as USC overmatched the 49ers and took a 7-2 lead at halftime before shutting them out in the third to build an 11-2 advantage on the way to the fourth. Aleck Ryner took over in the final frame to close out the win as a 14-7 Trojan victory while the USC offense got nine Trojans in on the scoring. Vavic got himself to numero uno all-time with a hat trick in the win, and Connor Virjee, too, poured in three to lead the Trojans. Genidounias provided two more, and the Trojans were well on their way to their spot in tomorrow's semis.
2013 SoCal Tournament
#2 USC 14, #7 Long Beach State 7