No. 1 USC Starves Anteaters In Second Half To Win 11-3
April 6, 2013
IRVINE, CALIF. -- The No. 1 USC women's water polo team held its host scoreless for just under 22 minutes of the last stretch of play today, beating No. 7 UC Irvine 11-3 to keep that undefeated Trojan record intact to date. Now 20-0 on the year, the Women of Troy broke a 3-3 tie with eight straight unanswered goals to drown out the Anteaters in a nonconference clash today in Irvine.
Hannah Buckling blasted a hat trick today to charge up the USC offense. She followed up an early Kaleigh Gilchrist rocket with back-to-back goals to get USC out of the gates on a 3-0 run. The Anteaters would manufacture a three-goal response to close the gap to 3-3 with 5:56 on the clock in the second period of play. The referee whistle blew a grand total of eight exclusions in the second frame, but aside from the tying 6-on-5 finish by UC Irvine, both teams struck out on their power play chances. The USC defense clamped down and stopped four of UCI's five power plays in the second as the Trojans' defensive domination began to build.
After UCI struck to pull even at 3-3, USC went the other way and Anni Espar found Dominque Sardo. Espar laced a perfect pass to Sardo at the post for the go-ahead goal for the Trojans. Colleen O'Donnell would plug in a nifty shot from the perimeter next, and Eike Daube launched a slick bar-in score before the close of the half to make it a 6-3 USC advantage.
And while the USC defense -- anchored by goalie Flora Bolonyai and bolstered further by many USC field blocks -- continued to click, the USC offense distributed the ball among five pairs of scoring hands before the final buzzer. Only one goal would go in the third frame, a missile launched by Gilchrist off a feed from Daube. That put USC up 7-3 entering the fourth, where Chelsea Silvers, Constance Hiller and Monica Vavic got in on the scoring action while Buckling plugged in her third of the day. Espar hit Vavic for the capper in the final minute of play, and USC had an 11-3 win in the books.
The top-ranked Trojans now return home to put their undefeated overall record and perfect MPSF mark up against No. 2 Stanford in a 4 p.m. matchup on Saturday (April 13) at USC's home pool at the site of the under-construction Uytengsu Aquatics Center. Before the game, the Women of Troy will honor their five graduating seniors: Constance Hiller, Nicolina McCall, Blair Moody, Dominique Sardo and Chelsea Silvers.
#1 USC 11, #7 UC Irvine 3
SAVES: Flora Bolonyai (USC) 7, Jillian Yocum (UCI) 9.