Top-Ranked Trojans Serve Up 16-10 Win Over UC Santa Barbara
Oct. 27, 2013
SANTA BARBARA, CALIF. -- The No. 1 USC men's water polo team turned a high-scoring affair to its favor today as the Trojans outgunned their No. 6 host UC Santa Barbara to the tune of a 16-10 win. Connor Virjee was USC's top gun on the day with five goals for the Trojan cause, helping improve USC to 20-1 overall and 2-0 in MPSF play.
Both teams came out of the gates with guns blazing, with 10 goals scored in the first frame alone. The Trojans tallied the first three thanks to Jeremy Davie, Kostas Genidounias and Connor Virjee. UCSB got one to go three minutes in, and made it 4-2 midway through the period, but USC goalie James Clark put up a wall in the cage on the Gauchos next-best chance, slamming down a 5-meter penalty try to keep USC in command. Mace Rapsey delivered soon after for the Trojans to make it a 5-2 USC lead, although the Gauchos would creep to within one before Virjee's third of the day made it a 6-4 USC lead entering the second frame. There, the teams would stay tight, as UCSB cut it two a one-goal margin twice more. It was a trim 8-7 USC advantage just one minute away from halftime until Rapsey struck again with 32 seconds left to put USC up 9-7 at the break.
USC's defense would lock down in the second half, though, allowing just a single Gaucho goal in the third while Genidounias punched in a pair and Nikola Vavic got in on the action for a 12-8 USC lead entering the fourth. The Trojans kept coming offensively with four more goals. UCSB was awarded its third penalty shot of the day in that frame, converting that chance with five minutes remaining, but USC was well in control by that time and the Trojans wrapped up a 16-10 decision.
USC now preps for a trip to Pacific on Saturday (Nov. 2) as the Trojans square off against the Tigers in a 12 p.m matchup in Stockton for a key MPSF clash.
#1 USC 16, #6 UC Santa Barbara 10
SAVES: James Clark (USC) 12, Chris Whitelegge (UCSB) 10.