No. 2 Trojans Crash No. 7 Waves, 13-3|
Nov. 10, 2013
LOS ANGELES - Behind a four-goal performance from redshirt junior driver Rex Butler, the No. 2-ranked USC men's water polo team took down No. 7 Pepperdine 13-3 at the Uytengsu Aquatics Center on Sunday afternoon.
The Trojans, fresh off their 11-9 victory at No. 5 California yesterday (Saturday) morning, started out a bit slow, with only two goals apiece in the first two quarters, before turning it on with five in the third and another four in the fourth.
Butler's four-goals tie his season high, which he previously set against Loyola Marymount on September 7th. Mace Rapsey also tallied a hat trick for the Trojans, marking the sixth time this season he has scored at least three goals in a game. He now sits at 26th on the Trojan career scoring list with 111 goals and is just two goals away from cracking the top 25.
Goalkeeper James Clark and the Trojan defense held the Pepperdine offense to just three goals, which ties its lowest output of the season. The Trojans held the Waves scoreless in the first quarter and just allowed a goal apiece in the final three frames. Clark tallied nine saves in the match, including three in the shutout first quarter.
The Trojans heavy hitters of Nikola Vavic and Kostas Genidounias put the Trojans on the board in the first quarter with scores at the 6:42 and 4:33 marks, respectively. Clark and the defense thwarted all offensive attempts by the Waves, and the Trojans took the 2-0 advantage into the second quarter.
The Waves got on the board early in the second quarter, taking advantage of a Trojan exclusion as Danny White converted the 6-on-5 opportunity to put the game at 2-1, Trojans. With 5:48 to go, Butler netted his first goal of the game to push the Trojans ahead, 3-1. Almost four minutes passed before the Trojans would again find the back of the net with an Ivan Kustic goal to go ahead, 4-1. The Trojans had their first of two five-meter penalty shots with 1:07 to go, but Waves goalkeeper Bence Valics came up with the stop on the shot by Vavic to keep the score at 4-1 heading into the break.
The scoring began to flow for the Trojans in the third quarter, starting with a 6-on-5 goal from Zach Lucas just 47 seconds into the quarter to push the score to 5-1. Genidounias collected his second goal of the game with 4:03 left in the period. Back-to-back scores from Butler at the 3:04 and 1:50 marks put the Trojans up, 8-1. With 33 seconds left in the period the Waves got back up on the board with a 6-on-5 score from Marko Madaras, but the Trojans answered with the first of three goals from Mace Rapsey with just 21 seconds left in quarter to put the score at 9-2 heading into the final period.
Rapsey opened up the fourth quarter much like he left off, tallying a 6-on-5 goal at the 6:55 mark and completing his hat trick with another 6-on-5 score with 6:11 to go to put the Trojans ahead, 11-2. Madaras scored the Waves' third goal as the shot clock expired with 5:41 left in the period, but from then on it was all Trojans. Mac Carden got on the scoresheet as he tallied his 16th goal of the year to put the Trojans up, 12-3. Butler capped off his four-goal day by sending home a five-meter penalty shot with 1:51 left in the match to send the Trojans to their 13-3 victory.
The Trojans remain at home this week, as they are set to host No. 4 Stanford in a big MPSF match on Saturday, November 16 at 2 p.m. PT at the Uytengsu Aquatics Center.
#2 USC 13, #7 Pepperdine 3
SAVES: James Clark (USC) 10, Bence Valics (PEP) 10