No. 3 USC Storms Into MPSF Semis With 12-5 Victory Over UC Irvine|
Nov. 21, 2014
LONG BEACH, CALIF. -- The No. 3 USC men's water polo team scooped up a solid victory with a balanced attack against UC Irvine in today's MPSF Tournament. The Trojans punch a ticket to tomorrow's semifinals thanks to the 12-5 victory over the Anteaters, setting up a shot at defending USC's MPSF Tournament title. The Trojans will face No. 2 seed Stanford tomorrow (Nov. 22) at 3 p.m. in the MPSF semifinal at Long Beach State's Ken Lindgren Aquatics Center.
In the quarterfinal bout today against No. 6 seed UC Irvine, USC was the early aggressor. The Trojans kicked out to a 5-0 lead on the Anteaters, coming just 21 seconds away from a first-half shutout. USC's Nick Bell tacked up two goals in that first offensive surge by the Trojans, with Mihajlo Milicevic, Kostas Genidounias and James Walters plugging in goals of their own to craft that 5-0 lead. UC Irvine broke its silence just before halftime, but the damage was already done and the Trojans would keep rolling in the next two frames.
The Anteaters registered the first goal of the second half, only to see the Trojans dig back in and fire off another five-goal run. Genidounias lit the fuse on the surge, rifling in his second of the day to notch his 251st career goal -- putting the senior three goals away from the top mark all-time. USC's 6-2 lead would balloon to 10-2 within the next four minutes, as Trojan veterans Mac Carden, Marc Vonderweidt and Rex Butler all hammered home goals for the USC cause. Butler would go back-to-back to build that 10-2 advantage, and USC would hold a 10-3 lead going into the final frame. There, USC's youth movement bumped the lead out to 12-3, with Bryce Hoerman joining the scoring column and fellow freshman Walters knocking in another. UC Irvine would manage two goals before the buzzer, leaving the final score as a 12-5 USC victory.
USC had eight different scorers in the win, while goalie McQuin Baron anchored the USC defense with nine saves and just three goals allowed. He'd come up huge with a big 5-meter penalty save in the third period, and the USC defense was also effective in its field blocking efforts to keep UC Irvine off-balance. Goalie Ben Goncharenko entered the game late in the fourth period and made one save.
USC's semifinal bout against Stanford is set for 3 p.m. tomorrow (Nov. 22) at the Ken Lindgren Aquatics Center in Long Beach, Calif.
2014 MPSF TOURNAMENT - Ken Lindren Aquatics Center (Long Beach, Calif.)