No. 3 USC Captures 23rd Win Of 2014 With 22-3 Victory Over Bakersfield
April 26, 2014
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. - The No. 3 USC women's water polo team bounced back from a tough loss with a roaring effort in today's action at the MPSF Tournament at Uytengsu Aquatics Center. The Women of Troy got down to business quickly and powered on for a 22-3 win over No. 7 seed Bakersfield behind a searing six-goal effort from freshman Stephania Haralabidis and 12 saves in three periods of work by USC's all-time saves leader Flora Bolonyai. The victory improves USC to 23-3 overall on the year as it now turns to take on No. 5 seed San Jose State tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. in the fifth-place game.
The Women of Troy exploded out of the gates, tearing to a 15-0 lead before the Roadrunners were able to get on the board after 20 minutes of play. USC kicked things off with an ejection earned by Jayde Appel and a fiery finish from Eike Daube. Daube and Kelly Mendoza would nab steals at the defensive end next, prompting a stifling Trojan defense that was backed up dutifully by goalie Flora Bolonyai. She'd allow just one goal during her three periods of work, which had the Trojans holding an 18-1 lead entering the final frame. Stephania Haralabidis had registered five goals during that span, and she'd plug in her career-high sixth score during the fourth period. Nikki Stansfield added a pair and Appel nailed her fourth of the game while Alegra Hueso went to work in the cage for three saves in making it a 22-3 final victory for the Trojans.
USC built a 7-0 lead in the first frame on a pair of goals apiece from Daube and Stephania Haralabidis along with a couple sly lobs from Appel and Jennifer Stiefel and a nice walk-in finish from Olivia Cummins to record that 7-0 advantage. Appel would rip off a vicious backhand strike next to keep the momentum going at the start of the second. Daube would earn a 5-meter penalty shot for Monica Vavic to whip in next. Ioanna Haralabidis got in on the scoring frenzy next, and after Bolonyai put a stop to a Bakersfield 6-on-5 chance, Stephania Haralabidis grabbed her hat trick with a counterattack strike for an 11-0 lead. Colleen O'Donnell finished off the half with a blast to make it a 12-0 USC lead at the break.
The Trojan surge kept coming in the third. Vavic got to the back of the net just 15 seconds into play, and Stephania Haralabidis went back-to-back next to take that powerful 15-0 advantage. Even when Bakersfield broke through with a nice lob from Niki De Leon, USC generated another head of steam. Stiefel sent in a bar-in lob next, followed by a 6-on-5 rocket from Ioanna Haralabidis and then another power play slam from Appel to net an 18-1 lead on the way into the final frame.
USC now turns to finish off its run at the MPSF Tournament with a battle for fifth place in the tourney against No. 5 seed San Jose State tomorrow (April 27) at 10:30 a.m. The Trojans will then set up for the selection of the 2014 NCAA Tournament bracket, which will be released on Monday (April 28) at 5:30 p.m. PT. USC is hosting the 2014 NCAA Tournament, which runs May 9-11 at Uytengsu Aquatics Center.
2014 MPSF Women's Water Polo Tournament
#3 USC 22, #7 Bakersfield 3