No. 3 USC Wraps Regular Season With Big Numbers
April 20, 2012
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. -- The No. 3 USC women's water polo team cruised to an overwhelming win in its final regular-season game of the year, powering up for a 23-5 win over visiting CSU Bakersfield on Friday evening at McDonald's Swim Stadium. Led by a five-goal outing by Kaleigh Gilchrist, USC got 13 different players in on the scoring act, while senior goalie Morgan Vickers was in control of the cage for eight saves on the day. USC improves to 19-4 overall with the win, and the Roadrunners go to 22-16.
The Trojans' offensive outburst began early when Nadia Dan struck on USC's first possession of the game. The Trojans would rattle off six more from there -- two from Danand a pair from Gilchrist -- to take a 7-0 lead before Shannon McKenzie struck on a bar-in score to get Bakersfield on the board before the close of the first frame. The Runners got another one to go early in the second on a surprise bar-in lob from distance, but the Women of Troy had a powerful response, striking out on an 11-0 scoring run that saw Nicolina McCall dish out assists left and right to keep the Trojan offense ticking to a 19-2 lead early in the fourth. Nine different Trojans scored during that 11-goal surge that spanned from the second period through to the fourth, while Gilchrist collected her third, fourth and fifth goals during the rally. In the fourth, the Runners finished off a 6-on-5 opportunity to stop the Trojan run, but Constance Hiller would ring up her third goal of the game soon after. Michelle Caron plugged in her second of the day to make it a 21-3 USC advantage with 4:15 to go, and although CSU Bakersfield tallied a 5-meter penalty and one last even score before the game's end, two new Trojan scorers would get in on the action before the final buzzer, with Jennifer Stiefel rifling in a 6-on-5 skipper and Savannah Fletcher drilling one of her own to round out the 23-5 win for the Trojans.
Next up for the Women of Troy is a trip to Stanford for the 2012 MPSF Tournament. USC is the No. 3 seed in the tourney, opening up against San Jose State at 2:30 p.m. in the first round on Friday (April 27) at Stanford's Avery Aquatic Center.
#3 USC 23, CSU Bakersfield 5
SAVES: Morgan Vickers (USC) 8, Alex Bayer (CSUB) 0 [1st period], Chiyeko Morisaki (CSUB) 5 [three periods].