No. 3 USC Punches Up A Spot In Triton Invite Semis|
Feb. 7, 2015
LA JOLLA, CALIF. -- The No. 3 USC women's water polo team followed up a 22-4 win over Cal State East Bay with a 15-1 win over No. 15 Long Beach State to advance to the winners' circle at the Triton Invitational in La Jolla, Calif. The well-balanced day of bracket play propels the Women of Troy into the 11:10 a.m. semifinal tomorrow (Feb. 8) against either Hartwick or No. 11 Cal State Northridge at Triton Pool.
The Women of Troy hit the gas right off the line in their tournament opener against Cal State East Bay, building a 6-0 lead before their opponents got on the board in the second frame. USC's scoring distribution spread between five different players in crafting that early advantage. By halftime, USC's lead stood at 9-2, but the Trojans had much more noise to make in the second half. Melissa Bergesen went big in the third period of play in blasting four goals to go along with the pair she provided in the second. Monica Vavic, too, had four more goals left in her arsenal, as the senior rang up a final seven-goal effort by the final buzzer. Her seven paced the Trojan offense, with Bergesen just a breath back in setting her USC career high with six goals in the win. Jennifer Stiefel added a second-half hat trick to help USC keep on track to the final 22-4 victory.
In the afternoon clash with No. 15 Long Beach State, the Trojans made an even stronger opening statement. With another balanced attack, USC peeled out to an 11-0 lead, having held a 10-0 advantage at a halftime with six different scorers in the books. To start the third frame, Ioanna Haralabidis rifled in her third of the game, and she'd join Monica Vavic in leading a pack of nine Trojan scorers in the victory. Defensively, USC was in complete control. Only one Long Beach State shot cracked the Trojan defense, snapping the 11-0 start. USC responded with a pair of goals to take a 13-1 lead entering the fourth, where freshmen Courtney Batcheller and Cara Borkovec wrapped the day's offensive onslaught with goals to make it a 15-1 final USC win.
With 10 goals collected today, senior Monica Vavic leapfrogs up the career ladder to tie Olympian Moriah Van Norman at No. 3 all-time with 215 career goals. At No. 2 all-time is Sofia Konoukh with 224 career goals -- nine more than Vavic's current tally.
2015 TRITON INVITATIONAL (La Jolla, Calif.)
#3 USC 15, #15 Long Beach State 1