It's Semi Time For Women of Troy
May 11, 2012
SAN DIEGO, CALIF. - The USC women's water polo team put forth a dominating and well-rounded performance in the first match of it 2012 NCAA Championship campaign today, topping sixth-seeded Princeton 14-2 behind 10 different Trojan scorers. The first-round win over the Tigers shoves No. 3 seeded USC into a grudge match against No. 2 seed UCLA tomorrow in the semifinals. After taking three-one-goal losses to the Bruins this year, the Trojans - now 22-5 overall --- are looking for some timely revenge over their rivals tomorrow at 5:15 p.m. for the right to fight for a national championship.
In today's opener against Princeton, held at the Aztec Aquaplex in San Diego, Calif., the Women of Troy rattled off the first six goals of the day as scores came from the hot hands of Colleen O'Donnell, Kaleigh Gilchrist, Chelsea Silvers, Patricia Jancso, Eike Daube and Madeline Rosenthal for early winning momentum.
Princeton got on the board in the final minute of the first, but USC's widespread scoring threat and stingy defense proved too powerful for the Tigers. Up 6-1 at halftime, the Trojans got their seventh scorer in the mix when Monica Vavic hit Dominique Sardo for a 6-on-5 bullet that put USC ahead 7-1. Sardo would be USC's first two-goal scorer of the day less than a minute later on a nifty backhand flip assist from Madeline Rosenthal, and USC was off to the races. Jancso then buried her second on a searing blast off a foul just before the Tigers got their second goal of the game to go with a well-placed shot to the corner from Camille Hooks.
The Trojans had a swift answer, however, as Constance Hiller hit Kaleigh Gilchrist in the hole for a backhand that tallied USC's 10th goal of the game. Hiller then added to the tally with her first goal of the game, taking a counter feed from goalie Flora Bolonyai and slicing in a one-on-one with Princeton goalie Kristen Ward. That kept the Trojan offense clicking along on what would grow to be a five-goal scoring run to close the game. Fourth-quarter scoring contributors for the Trojans were Blair Moody with a 6-on-5 strike, Kara-Leigh Huse with another power play finish from the post, and Rosenthal's counterattack finish off a long pass from goalie Morgan Vickers, who spelled Bolonyai in the final frame. Vickers helped USC pitch another shutout period in the fourth to go along with Bolonyai's 11-save effort in the first three.
The Trojans are now through to the NCAA Semifinals for the ninth straight year, looking to follow in the footsteps of their 2010 NCAA push - also held at the Aztec Aquaplex - that wound up with USC as national champions for the third time in program history. Tomorrow (May 12), USC will go up against UCLA at 5:15 p.m. in the 2012 NCAA Semifinals .
2012 NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS (Aztec Aquaplex - San Diego, Calif.)