Top-Ranked Trojans Beat The Bruins In OT For Tournament Title|
Feb. 23, 2014
IRVINE, CALIF. -- The No. 1 USC women's water polo team wrapped up its second straight UCI Invitational championship by beating out rival UCLA with a strong overtime performance that saw Eike Daube punch in two OT goals to make it a 7-6 Trojan victory. The champs now hold a perfect 12-0 record on the year.
The game was a defensive battle in comparison to the high-scoring affairs the Women of Troy had been posting on the way in. The Bruins registered the first goal of the game and would put USC in a 2-0 hole out of the gates before Madeline Rosenthal drew first blood for the Trojans with a score from the post during the first frame. The second period would go scoreless until freshman Stephania Haralabidis leveled the score with a strike 20 seconds before halftime hit.
In the third, UCLA took a 3-2 lead, but this time Ioanna Haralabidis would come through with the equalizer for the Trojans, locking it a 3-3 with 3:34 on the clock. Colleen O'Donnell bounced USC into the lead for the first time with a score during the third, and she'd pad it out to a 5-3 advantage early in the fourth. The Bruins cut it down to 5-4 with 1:37 to go, and UCLA would get up on a 6-on-5 in the final minute, converting to lock the game back up 5-5 with just five seconds left in regulation.
That brought up overtime, where UCLA scored its third straight to take a 6-5 lead midway through the first frame of OT. In the second, the Trojans buckled down. Winners of a triple sudden-death overtime in the 2013 NCAA Championship game, the Women of Troy remained resolute and focused. Just 42 seconds into the second overtime period, Eike Daube whipped in a crosscage score to pull USC even at 7-7. It wasn't long until Daube would deliver again, striking a skipper to take a 7-6 advantage that would hold the rest of the way as USC successful fended off the Bruins to capture the championship.
The Women of Troy hit the road next for their MPSF opener at Arizona State, as USC takes on the Sun Devils for a 1 p.m. clash on Saturday (March 1) in Tempe, Ariz.
2014 UCI INVITATIONAL (Irvine, Calif.)