No. 2 USC Takes Down No. 6 Hawai'i 12-6|
Feb. 23, 2012
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. -- The No. 2 USC women's water polo team secured a winning start to MPSF action with a 12-6 win over visiting No. 6 Hawai'i today at McDonald's Swim Stadium. The Rainbow Wahine tried to make it interesting by tying it up 3-3 in the second period, but USC answered with a four-goal surge to build a lead it would not relinquish. Trojan freshman Monica Vavic served up four goals to lead the crew as USC improved to 8-1 overall and 1-0 in MPSF play with the win. Hawai'i goes to 2-4, 0-1.
USC opened up a 2-0 lead on the Rainbow Wahine before they scored on a 6-on-5 midway through the first frame. A rocket from Patricia Jancso put USC up 3-1, but Hawai'i moved to tie it 3-3 early in the second. The USC defense cracked down next, forcing a shot clock violation by the Wahine before striking out on a four-goal run sparked by Vavic's second of the day. Eike Daube intercepted a pass next, and Nicolina McCall earned a 5-meter penalty shot for the Trojans, which Daube promptly skipped home for a 5-3 USC lead. Olivia Cummins squelched another Hawai'i possession soon after, and Savannaf Fletcher deposited the ball in the back of the net on the counterattack to make it 6-3 USC. Michelle Caron got in on the action with a steal at half tank, and Colleen O'Donnell blasted a score from the top to lift USC out of reach with a 7-3 advantage. Hawai'i ended the run with a score 7 seconds before the half, but USC's momentum was still alive.
In the third, the Trojans shut out the Wahine while Vavic plugged in her third, Daube delivered on the counter, and Kaleigh Gilchrist rattled one home at the buzzer to take the Trojans to a 10-4 lead entering the final frame. That's where Vavic moved in on her four-goal game, and Jennifer Stiefel became USC's eighth scorer on the night to help wrap up a 12-6 USC win. Flora Bolonyai served the first three periods in the cage and had five saves before giving way to Morgan Vickers in the fourth.
USC now heads south to the UCI Invitational this weekend, opening up against Long Beach State at 9 a.m. on Saturday (Feb. 25) in Irvine, Calif.
#2 USC 12, #6 Hawai'i 6