No. 2 USC Charges Into MPSF Semis
April 26, 2013
BERKELEY, CALIF. The No. 2 USC women's water polo team tightened up the defense in the second half of play today to build up some extra winning momentum into tomorrow's MPSF Semifinals. The Trojans whipped up a 21-5 win over No. 7 seeded CSU Bakersfield in today's opening round of the 2013 MPSF Tournament, held at Spieker Aquatics Complex in Berkeley, Calif. The USC defense allowed only one goal by the Roadrunners in the second half, while the USC offense was highlighted by a five-goal day by junior Kaleigh Gilchrist, who ripped in her 100th career goal on her fourth strike of the game. USC improves to 22-1 overall with this win, which advances the Trojans into tomorrow's tournament semifinals.
USC's offense seemed to get stronger in each frame. The Trojan defense, too, tightened up at the other end as the game progressed and as goalie Flora Bolonyai gathered in a grand total of 10 saves in the game. The powerful Women of Troy outscored the Roadrunners 12-1 in the second half of action as USC turned a five-goal halftime margin into a 16-goal advantage by the final buzzer with seven unanswered goals to wrap up the day. Gilchrist would get to the back of the net at least once in every frame. She'd plug in back-to-back scores in the fourth period, taking the Trojans ahead 19-5 on her fourth goal of the day -- the 100th of her USC career -- and then making it a 20-5 lead a minute later as she matched her career high of five goals in the game.
High marks on the day also came from sophomore Monica Vavic and Jayde Appel with a hat trick apiece. Vavic, who hit her 100th career goal in USC's win over UCLA last week, scored USC's first of the day on a 5-meter penalty shot earned by Madeline Rosenthal. She added two more to her count in the second half. Freshman Appel also completed her hat trick during USC's seven-goal surge in the fourth. Appel wrapped two big goals from 2-meters around a counterattack finish from Anni Espar to notch her hat trick. Espar would finish the day with a pair of goals, as did two more Trojan newcomers: Hannah Buckling and Kelly Mendoza. In all, USC got nine goals from four different Trojans playing in their first seasons at USC. The Women of Troy scoring onslaught also got big scores from seniors Chelsea Silvers, Dominique Sardo and Nicolina McCall, and junior Olivia Cummins to boost USC up to that 21-goal outing.
The Trojans will take on either No. 3 seeded Arizona State or No. 6 seed San Jose State in a 12:45 p.m. semifinal match on Saturday (April 27) at Spieker Aquatics Complex.
2013 MPSF TOURNAMENT (Berkeley, Calif.)
First Round - April 26
SAVES: Flora Bolonyai (USC) 10, Alex Bayer (CSUB) 9, Chiyeko Morisaki (CSUB) 2.