No. 1 USC Locks In For 13-6 Win At No. 9 LMU
Oct. 13, 2012
WESTCHESTER, CALIF. - The No. 1 USC men's water polo team shook off a slow start in today's nonconference clash at No. 9 Loyola Marymount and spread the ball between the hands of eight different scorers as the Trojans peeled out to a 13-6 win over the host Lions. USC had come up empty in the first frame before finally waking up for a six-goal surge that put LMU out of reach. USC improves its undefeated 2012 mark to 16-0 with the win.
The whistle blew seven total exclusions in the first period of play, but USC would stall out on its four chances in the frame to struggle through a rare scoreless stretch. LMU made good on one of its 6-on-5 chances to claim a 1-0 lead midway through the first, leaving USC to regroup and refocus for the next period.
Duly awaken by the deficit, Nikola Vavic broke the ice with a ripping bar-in skip to spark the Trojan offense. Four more Trojans would get to the back of the net in the second period, including a breakthrough on the power play with a go-ahead strike from Matt Burton. Marc Vonderweidt, too, would convert the next 6-on-5 chance for the Trojans with a rocket to the far post. Meanwhile, the USC defense stayed stalwart. Russell Renteria shut down an LMU shot with a booming field block, and USC would sprint the other way on a counterattack soon after. Andrew Reego's first try would hit the woodwork, but Mac Carden was there for the rebound and slotted the putaway to make it 4-1 Trojans. Forty seconds later, USC pieced together a deadly passing serier with Vavic hitting Burton for a drop in to Kostas Genidounias for a slam and a 5-1 USC advantage for halftime.
The third period was a busy one. The Trojan offense was officially warmed up, and Vavic again set the tone with an early score on a USC 6-on-5. LMU snapped the 6-0 USC scoring run with an opportunistic finish on a loose ball in front of the cage, getting to the ball just ahead of USC goalie Ely Bonilla to make it 6-2. LMU's fortune would change quickly, however, with Vavic nailing the top corner for a 7-2 lead, and then finding Burton for a blast that carried USC ahead 8-2. Stephen Siri ripped in a searing backhand out of set next, and although LMU converted a 5-meter penalty shot to put another score on the board, USC would finish off the third with two more impressive strikes. Rex Butler blazed in a crosscage bar-in, and after a USC field block squelched an LMU 6-on-5 the Trojans would score with 8 ticks to go on a pass from Tobias Preuss to Genidounias to make it an 11-3 USC advantage entering the fourth. In the final frame, the Lions got three goals to go, while Carden and Mace Rapsey delivered even scores for the Trojans to wrap up a 13-6 final on the road for the USC win.
USC has another road game on tap for next week as the Trojans head to Long Beach State for a 7 p.m. MPSF clash on Friday (Oct. 19).
#1 USC 13, #9 Loyola Marymount 6