No. 3 USC Captures Third At UCI Invitational|
Feb. 22, 2015
IRVINE, CALIF. -- The No. 3 USC women's water polo team wound up with a third-place finish at the 2015 UCI Invitational today. The defending tournament champs stalled out in the semifinals in taking a 5-3 loss to No. 2 UCLA to move into the afternoon's third-place game. There, the Trojans dug in and rallied, tacking up a 12-6 victory over No. 4 California to end things in winning fashion. USC goes to 13-1 overall with the split on the final day of action in Irvine.
Up against the Bruins for the first time this season, the Trojans had a tough time getting to the back of the net. UCLA built a 2-0 lead that almost held up to halftime until USC freshman Brianna Daboub broke the Trojans' silence with a buzzer-beater that made it 2-1 at the break. Three minutes into the second half, USC senior Eike Daube pulled the Trojans even when she finished off a counterattack strike fed from a steal by Ioanna Haralabidis. Now locked up 2-2, UCLA made its move while stymying the USC offense. The Bruins plugged in two goals before the close of the third to take a 4-2 lead into the fourth frame. A stalemate ensued, but UCLA knocked in another goal later in the fourth to move ahead 5-2 with 1:29 to go. The Trojans pushed to close the gap, but could only come up with one last goal from Monica Vavic at the close of the match to wrap things as a 5-3 UCLA win. The loss was the first for the Trojans this year, snapping a 12-0 start to the season and sending USC into the third-place game against No. 4 California.
Against the Golden Bears, USC shrugged off a couple early ties with a power move to a commanding lead. The Trojans snapped a 2-2 draw in the second frame with a a six-goal scoring blitz that spanned through to the second half of action. Ioanna Haralabidis lit the spark with the go-ahead goal to make it 3-2 midway through the second period. Monica Vavic went back-to-back next to close out the half as a 5-2 USC lead. To start the third, Stephania Haralabidis plugged in two more goals to open the half and Eike Daube rang up the capper in the run to make it 8-2 Trojans. USC stayed in control the rest of the way. Cal managed repeat scores on a couple occasions, but USC had an answer. The Trojans finished out the game scoring the last three goals of the match, with Brianna Daboub and Jayde Appel in on the scoring action to wrap up the 12-6 USC victory.
Next week, USC heads back to Irvine to take on UC Irvine in a 1 p.m. clash on Saturday (Feb. 28).
UCI INVITATIONAL (Corona del Mar & Irvine, Calif.)
SAVES: Victória Chamorro (USC) 7; Sami Hill (UCLA) 11.
SAVES: Victória Chamorro (USC) 10; Trabucco (CAL) 4.