Trojans Wrap Up Third At MPSF Tourney
April 29, 2012
STANFORD, CALIF. - The USC women's water polo team kept up its stingy defensive efforts at the MPSF Tournament with another staunch stand to lock in on a third-place finish at the tourney with a 6-4 win over California. The No. 3 seeded Trojans had already beaten the Bears three times this season, but USC made sure to tally one more in order to shore up a near-certain at-large berth in the coming NCAA Championships. Now 21-5 overall, USC will learn its seeding and the rest of the NCAA bracket tomorrow (April 30) at 5 p.m. in a selection show on ncaa.com.
In today's third-place showdown, the Trojans pulled out of a 1-1 lockup with a three-goal scoring surge sparked by a solo shot to the top right corner by Kaleigh Gilchrist with just six seconds left in the first period. USC's Colleen O'Donnell had broken ground first for the Trojans with a slick skip shot on a USC 6-on-5 two minutes earlier, but Cal equalized on a 5-meter penalty shot soon after. Boosting by that 2-1 lead, USC went on to tack up two more big strikes early in the second frame. Patricia Jancso went big for a rocket launched on another Trojans 6-on-5 advantage to make it 3-1, and then Monica Vavic tucked a shot into the top right corner for a 4-1 USC lead with 5:11 on the clock. Cal would cut back in on a 6-on-5 score of its own next, however, and managed a long-range score with just two ticks to go before halftime to make it a 4-3 Trojan edge going into the second half.
Madeline Rosenthal got USC up on another 6-on-5 in the third, earning the ejection to set up a Jancso cross to Chelsea Silvers for the skipper to the back of the net to make it 5-3 Trojans. Nicolina McCall rang up USC's sixth goal of the game with 3:34 to go in the third, and USC's defense would continue to shine throughout the half. The only goal allowed by the Trojans in the half would be a 5-meter penalty shot - Cal's second of the game - which came with 4:35 to go in the match. In the remaining minutes, Dominique Sardo would nab yet another steal for the Women of Troy and goalie Flora Bolonyai worked her way to her third double-digit saves effort of the tournament, finishing with 10 to anchor the USC defense.
At the close of the tournament, USC freshman Monica Vavic was named to the 2012 MPSF All-Tournament Team.
MPSF TOURNAMENT (Stanford, Calif.)