No. 3 USC Sinks San Jose State 21-6 On Senior Day|
April 11, 2015
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. -- The No. 3 USC women's water polo team turned a one-goal game into a daunting advantage with a 12-goal scoring surge that left visiting No. 8 San Jose State in the Trojans' wake in the final game of the year at Uytengsu Aquatics Center. After celebrating five seniors before the game, the Women of Troy made an impressive showing in pinning up a final 21-6 victory over the Spartans. USC got 11 different scorers in on the action, including seven goals scored by seniors in the win. The Trojans improve to 21-2 overall and to 4-1 in MPSF play with today's home victory.
USC seniors Monica Vavic and Eike Daube would help lead the scoring onslaught with a hat trick apiece, although it was sophomore Stephania Haralabidis who hit three goals first in the game. Daube and Vavic would be joined by fellow senior Sara Salamon on the scoresheet as they knocked in the last three USC goals of the game. Salamon would become the 11th Trojan to score in the win. Salamon, Daube, Vavic, Jennifer Stiefel and Michelle Mercado were all honored before the game in a Senior Day ceremony.
Once action got underway, it was San Jose State that proved hot out of the gates. The Spartans took the first lead of the game with a quick strike on their first possession, forcing the Trojans to regroup. USC worked out ahead with three straight scores, but San Jose State was able to close the gap down to one on two more occasions. A bar-in goal from Clara Espar Llaquet cut the score to 4-3 early in the second period, serving as a wake-up call to the Trojans. USC's defense locked down, and the offense heated up, as the next 14 minutes of action saw the Women of Troy score 12 goals while holding the Spartans scoreless in that stretch. Stephania Haralabidis had completed her hat trick during the storm, while Avery Peterson, Brianna Daboub and Daube tacked up two goals apiece in that rally. Ioanna Haralabidis, Brigitta Games, Hayley McKelvey and Vavic also got in on the fun as USC ballooned its advantage to 16-3 before Espar Llaquet broke SJSU's silence in the final minute of the third.
Up 16-4 entering the final frame, USC kept coming. Vavic's second goal of the day came after the senior nabbed a nifty steal, then took the ball the other way on a solo mission to score. Ioanna Haralabidis would zip in a 6-on-5 strike later; Daube followed Games' lead with a monster move and finish at set; Salamon struck her seventh career goal with a power play blast later in the frame; and Vavic wrapped the day's action with a bullet to make it a 21-6 final victory for the Women of Troy in their last home game of the year.
The Women of Troy will head across town next week for a key matchup against rival UCLA. That one will weigh heavily on the MPSF standings and seedings for the tournament to come. USC is set to square off against the Bruins at 1 p.m. on Saturday (April 18) in Westwood for both teams' regular-season finale.
#3 USC 21, #8 San Jose State 6
SAVES: Victória Chamorro (USC) 9, Katelynn Thompson (SJSU) 6.