No. 2 USC Outshines ASU To Take Trip To MPSF Title Match
April 27, 2013
BERKELEY, CALIF. -- The No. 2 USC women's water polo team got out of the gates with hot hands in today's semifinal clash with No. 3 Arizona State. The Trojans tacked up the first six goals of the game to create some key room on the Sun Devils and work their way to an 11-5 win that puts USC in the MPSF Championship match tomorrow (April 28). USC goalie Flora Bolonyai had another strong day in the cage, making nine saves to go with 10 in yesterday's opening round. Now 23-1 overall, the Women of Troy move into tomorrow's title match against Stanford or UCLA at 2:30 p.m. at Spieker Aquatics Complex in Berkeley, Calif.
USC rattled the Sun Devils' cage with six straight goals out of the gates, blasting five unanswered scores in the first frame -- the opener from Madeline Rosenthal and two apiece from Kaleigh Gilchrist and Monica Vavic. Anni Espar set up Hannah Buckling for a move into inside water and a finishing lob to take USC to a 6-0 lead on ASU early in the second. The Sun Devils regrouped, getting a scoring breakthrough with a 5-meter penalty shot converted at 5:58, and ASU would put two more in before the break to make it a 6-3 USC lead at the half.
The teams would stay matched in the third frame as ASU looked determined to keep the Trojans within reach. The Sun Devils would get no closer than three goals, however. Espar and Sardo provided the strikes for USC in the third as the Trojans took an 8-5 lead into the fourth. There, USC remained wholly in the driver's seat. The Trojans turned away two ASU 6-on-5 chances. After the second ASU miss, USC sent the ball the other way, where Sardo hit Espar on the attack for the finish and a 9-5 USC lead. Another tough USC offensive series saw a Jayde Appel lob go off the post. Constance Hiller was on the hunt for the rebound, earning a 5-meter penalty shot for the Trojans. Monica Vavic deposited the opportunity to the back of the net to round out a hat trick for the sophomore on the day and take the Trojans ahead 10-5 with 2:21 to go. More stubborn USC defense kept the Sun Devils from causing any trouble the rest of the way. One last USC 6-on-5 was capped by senior Blair Moody with just over a minute remaining, and that would wrap up an 11-5 win for the Trojans to get USC into tomorrow's title match.
The Trojans' championship bout tomorrow (April 28) at 2:30 p.m. will be STREAMED LIVE ONLINE.
2013 MPSF TOURNAMENT (Berkeley, Calif.)
Semifinals - April 27
SAVES: Flora Bolonyai (USC) 9, E.B. Keeve (ASU) 12.