It's A Vavic Sweep Of National Awards
Jan. 29, 2013
Believe it or not, there's still more history to be made by the USC men's water polo program. The Trojans already are the first team ever to win five straight men's national championships. Now, USC can boast a landmark achievement in having a father-son pair named National Coach and Player of the Year in the same season. In his 18th season as head coach at USC, Jovan Vavic has been named National Coach of the Year for the 11th time -- eight on the men's side and three on the women's. His son, junior Nikola Vavic, also has earned top honors as the National Player of the Year, becoming the sixth Trojan to win the award on the men's side. In all, Nikola Vavic leads a program-record eight All-Americans from USC on this 2012 honor roll. Following USC's fifth consecutive NCAA title, Trojans Vavic, Michael Rosenthal, Kostas Genidounias, Mace Rapsey, Matt Burton and Jeremy Davie have earned repeat All-American status. They are joined by two new All-Americans in James Clark and Stephen Siri.
National Coach of the Year Jovan Vavic and his Trojans completed the program's second perfect season in the past five years in going 29-0 in 2012 en route to a heart-stopping comeback win over rival UCLA in the national championship game, held at USC's own pool. The undefeated run bumped Jovan Vavic's career record with the USC men to 420-64 (.868) after the Trojans claimed their eighth men's title. This is his fifth straight honor as National Coach of the Year.
The 2012 National Player of the Year, junior Nikola Vavic was a record-setter in 2012 as he rattled off a whopping 83 goals to help lead the Trojans to another title. His scoring onslaught set a new program record for single-season goals, while he also catapulted up the career goals list to stand at No. 4 all-time with 173 career scores. He also led the team in assists (65) and steals (43) in 2012 to help secure himself with his first career selection as a First Team All-American following picks to the Third Team as a freshman in 2010 and Second Team in 2011.
There's two more first-time All-American First Team honorees on the list this year for the Trojans. Playing in his final game as a Trojan, redshirt senior Michael Rosenthal led USC with a had trick against rival UCLA in the national championship game. He'd finish as USC's third leading scorer with 31 goals, and also added 36 steals on the year. A team captain, Rosenthal was named NCAA Tournament MVP, and he now adds First Team All-American status to last year's first career honor of All-American Honorable Mention. Joining Rosenthal and Vavic as a First Team All-American is USC newcomer James Clark, goalie extraordinaire who stepped right into his role as a Trojan. Clark averaged 10.1 saves per game and just 6.3 goals-against per game in his first season at USC, going big when it mattered most as he tallied 11 saves in the MPSF championship game and 10 against the Bruins in the NCAA title match.
Another upgrade was in order for USC sophomore Kostas Genidounias, who landed a spot on the All-American Second Team this season after picking up Honorable Mention as a freshman. Genidounias' last goal of 2012 was the difference. He struck the game-winning goal for the Trojans to beat the Bruins in the national championship game, finishing the season as USC's undisputed second leading scorer with 68 goals on the year, while also providing 40 assists, 37 steals and 17 field blocks in his sophomore season. His 68 goals this year is the fifth most ever by a Trojan in a single season.
Junior Mace Rapsey also played his way into a new level of All-American honors, having punched in 30 goals for the Trojans while leading the team in field blocks (20) and finishing third in assists with 31. Named the 2012 MPSF Tournament MVP, Rapsey has bumped up to honors on the All-American Third Team in 2012.
The All-American Honorable Mention list again is heavy with deserving Trojans. Redshirt senior and captain Matt Burton was playing in his fifth championship season as a Trojan, and he goes out as a two-time All-American with this year's All-American Honorable Mention added to his 2010 Third Team honors. He was fifth on the team in scoring with 29 goals this season, third in ejections drawn (28) and fourth in steals (24) as he adds a fifth championship ring to his collection. Junior Jeremy Davie, meanwhile, is now a three-time All-American after battling injury to match Burton with 29 goals on the year while leading the team in ejections drawn with 46. Davie now adds another set of All-American Honorable Mention honors to his Second Team pick in 2011. Also highlighting the All-American honor roll in 2012 is first-time honoree Stephen Siri. The redshirt junior and team captain was an all-around force for the Trojans once again, providing 16 goals while standing second in ejections drawn with 39, along with 23 steals on the year to help solidify his spot with 2012 All-American Honorable Mention.
National Player of the Year:
Second Team All-American:
Third Team All-American: