No. 1 USC Passes Up No. 7 Pacific For 16-6 MPSF Win; Completes Sweep with 21-9 Victory Over CLU
Oct. 27, 2012
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. -- After almost a month away from home waters, the top-ranked USC men's water polo team returned to action at McDonald's Swim Stadium today and beat visiting No. 7 Pacific 16-6 and Cal Lutheran 21-9 in a doubleheader. Kostas Genidounias tallied seven goals for the Trojans on the day, while Nikola Vavic added six, as USC improves its undefeated 2012 mark to 20-0 while upping its MPSF mark to 5-0 on the year.
The Tigers held the Trojans at bay in the opening stretch, taking the first lead of the game and serving up an answer to USC's first couple strikes as Pacific led 1-0, 2-1 and the 3-2 with 1:24 to go in the first. The Trojans would buckle down from there, though, with Stephen Siri slicing in an equalizer and Tobias Preuss punching up the go-ahead goal with just one tick to go in the first. That rally would spark a roll of three straight Trojan scores in the second before Pacific's first 5-meter penalty shot of the day snapped the five-goal USC run to make it 7-4. Soon after, however, USC's Preuss hit Jeremy Daviefor a whirling score out of set to make it an 8-4 USC lead for halftime thanks to a powerful USC defensive series the rest of the way.
The Trojan defense -- anchored by 12 saves from goalie James Clark in the match -- stifled the Tigers to the tune of just two goals in the second half. One of those was another 5-meter penalty shot for Pacific, as Balazs Erdelyi collected his third goal of the day to make it 9-5 during the third. But again, the Trojans had another rally in the works. Michael Rosenthal plugged in two during a four-goal surge across the third and fourth periods. Marc Vonderweidt would blast one as well, while Preuss capped off his hat trick on a setup from Nikola Vavic in a USC run to a 13-5 advantage during the fourth. A slick bar-in from Kevin Oliveira notched Pacific's lone goal of the fourth, soon followed by a nearside strike from Matt Burton and some smooth finishes from Genidounias and Rex Butlerto round out a nicely balanced effort by the top team in the land for a 16-6 final.
In the second half of the doubleheader, the Trojans defeated Cal Lutheran 21-9, led by Genidounias and his second three-plus goal game of the day. Overall, four different Trojans scored at least four goals in the game, with Genidounias and Vavic leading the way with four and Davie and Vanderweidt finishing with hat tricks. Clark added six saves to his 12 in the early game to put his save total for the day at 18.
After getting off to a 2-0 start, the Kingsmen got on the board with 2:33 left in the first quarter to put the score at 2-1. The Trojans would tack on two more goals from Jack Plagaand Siri to take a 4-1 lead heading into the second quarter.
Davie put the Trojans up 5-1 with 7:31 to go in the second quarter as he spun off his defender and put the ball past Kingsmen goalkeeper Danny Mock. Genidounias tallied his first goal of the game off a nice assist from Mac Cardenfor the first of his back-to-back goals in the quarter, putting the Trojans up 7-1. Scores from Vonderweidt and Butler capped off the second quarter and the Trojan defense held the Kinsgmen scoreless in the quarter. Heading into the half the Trojans led 9-1.
The Trojans extended their lead to 10-1 in the second quarter with Genidounias' third goal of the day, before the Kingsmen got back on the board with a penalty shot at the 6:24 mark in the third quarter. The Trojans pushed for five more goals in the quarter, but the Kingsmen were able to tally three more, to put the score at 16-6, Trojans, heading into the final frame.
With 4:25 to play in the fourth quarter, the Trojans pushed their lead up to a game-high 13-point differential, 20-7 with a goal by Vavic, which put him in sole possession of 10th place on the all-time USC career scoring list with 147 career scores.
The Trojans will look to stay undefeated as they host UC Santa Barbara in an MPSF tilt at McDonald's Swim Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 3.
#1 USC 16, #7 Pacific 6
SAVES: James Clark(USC) 12, Alex Malkis (PAC) 9.
#1 USC 21, Cal Lutheran 9