No. 3 USC Controls No. 6 UC Irvine 16-5
April 6, 2014
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. -- The No. 3 USC women's water polo team displayed its dominance today, settling back into home waters and building a comfortable lead with a powerful second period of play against visiting UC Irvine. The Trojans rattled in six goals and allowed none by the Anteaters in that frame for a power surge that jolted USC to an eventual 16-5 victory at the Uytengsu Aquatics Center, where the Women of Troy will remain for the duration of 2014 competition. USC improves to 21-1 overall with the win as it now sets up for two more regular-season games at home before turning to host the MPSF and NCAA tournaments.
Eike Daube had the hot hand for the Women of Troy in this one, drumming up a career-high five goals in the win while Monica Vavic and Colleen O'Donnell added hat tricks for the Trojan cause. Meanwhile, the USC defense shut out the Anteaters in the second and fourth periods of play, thanks in large part to a 13-save outing from goalie Flora Bolonyai, who is closing the gap on the No. 1 all-time career saves list at Troy. She has hauled in 320 career saves to sit just 18 saves away from the top spot in USC's history books. Also climbing the ladder today was Vavic, who moved into sole possession of No. 7 all-time in career scoring at USC, as well as Kaleigh Gilchrist, who took over the No. 13 spot with her pair of goals today.
It all began on Vavic's 6-on-5 score out of the gates for the Women of Troy. UC Irvine would equalize on its next possession to make things interesting, but 20 seconds later Daube made her voice heard early with a blast that gave USC a lead that it would not relinquish the rest of the way. Bolonyai would put a stop to an Anteater power play next, while O'Donnell converted on the other end for the Trojans. UC Irvine got it to a one-goal game with a 6-on-5 finish in the final minute of the first frame, only to see Gilchrist rifle in a score at the end of the frame for a spark that set fire to a seven-goal scoring surge by the Women of Troy.
The second period was all USC. UC Irvine struck out on four 6-on-5 chances in the frame, while USC knocked in six goals on the hands of five different scorers. O'Donnell plugged in a pair to hold a first-half hat trick, and USC was off to the races with a 10-2 lead in-hand by halftime. The third frame was a wash, with each team managing three goals in the frame as the score moved to a 13-5 USC lead entering the final eight minutes. There, the Trojans reigned supreme again. The defense was stifling and the offense manufactured three more goals -- Gilchrist's second, Daube's fifth and Vavic's third -- to round out the 16-5 victory for the Women of Troy.
USC's next action at Uytengsu Aquatics Center brings the Pac-12 Networks back to Troy for another televised game. The Trojans will host LMU in a 4:30 p.m. nonconference clash on Thursday (April 10) in an effort to generate a new win streak for the USC squad.
#3 USC 16, #6 UC Irvine 5
SAVES: Flora Bolonyai (USC) 13, Jillian Yocum (UCI) 3, Annika Nelson (UCI) 4.