March 19, 2014
USC Water Polo Release
The top-ranked Trojans have hunkered down in Hawai'i this week for some training time as well as three official games against nonconference opponents. USC (15-0) holds a 22-game win streak entering the busy week, which opens up with a matchup against No. 14 Indiana (11-3) on Friday (March 21) at 7:30 p.m. HT in Honolulu. The following day (March 22), the Women of Troy line up for a Saturday doubleheader, first taking on No. 12 Long Beach State at 1:30 p.m. HT before squaring off against No. 11 host Hawai'i at 6 p.m. HT that evening.
USC IN THE RANKINGS
THE LAST MEETING
February 5, 2011
Palo Alto, Calif.
THE LAST MEETING
March 22, 2012
McDonald's Swim Stadium
No. 3 USC Tacks Up 7-3 Win Over Long Beach State
The No. 3 USC women's water polo team spread out its scoring attack with goals from seven different scorers in a 7-3 win over visiting Long Beach State tonight at McDonald's Swim Stadium. USC senior Nadia Dan delivered her 100th career goal along the way, helping USC to a nonconference victory that improves the Women of Troy to 13-3 overall on the year.
THE LAST MEETING
May 11, 2013
No. 1 USC Blasts Back To NCAA Title Match
The top-seeded USC women's water polo team made another power move into the NCAA title match with a strong 16-9 win over No. 4 seed Hawai'i today in the NCAA Semifinals at Harvard's Blodgett Pool. The Trojans swamped the Rainbow Wahine with another widespread attack, rattling off seven straight goals from the hands of seven different Trojans to put Hawai'i out of reach early. That effort, coupled with a whopping 13 saves from goalie Flora Bolonyai, propelled the Women of Troy back to the NCAA title match, where USC will take aim at a fourth national championship tomorrow (May 12). USC could well face Stanford in a rematch of the 2012 NC
USC opened 2014 ranked No. 1 in both the national and MPSF preseason polls. The Trojans haven't moved from that top spot in the land as they now enter the ninth week of 2014 competition.
USC lit up the Uytengsu Aquatics Center in its first televised game of 2014, spreading the scoring among seven Women of Troy to overpower visiting No. 4 California 12-7 last week. The Pac-12 Networks were there to broadcast the game in the Trojans' new aquatics venue, and USC put on a strong showing to record its 22nd consecutive win and 15th straight this season. Cal made things interesting out of the gates in snagging the first lead of the game and getting ahead 2-1 after three minutes of play, but the Trojans peppered the Cal cage with four straight goals to tear into the lead by the close of the first frame. Madeline Rosenthal blasted two goals in the surge, with Eike Daube and Ioanna Haralabidis converting on Trojan 6-on-5 opportunities to lift USC into a 5-2 lead. Daube's strike off a feed from Kaleigh Gilchrist at the tail end of a power play gave USC its first lead of the game at 2:57, and the Women of Troy would stay in control the rest of the way. The Bears pulled to within two twice during the second period of play, but USC had an answer for each Cal effort. Kelly Mendoza blazed in a score off a cross from Monica Vavic to give USC an 8-5 lead that would hold through halftime. The Trojans opened the second half of action with a defensive stand anchored by a stubborn Flora Bolonyai, who hauled in four straight saves for the Trojan cause. Mendoza let it rip on a USC 6-on-5 next to pad the lead out to four. Rosenthal gifted the Trojans another power play chance two minutes later, and Stephania Haralabidis continued her scoring tear with a slider that pumped USC up to an 11-5 lead. While the USC defense continued its shutout efforts, Gilchrist would rip off a searing backhand for her second goal of the game at 1:01 to get USC well out of reach of the Bears in taking an 11-5 advantage into the final frame. Cal managed the first and last goals of the fourth period while Vavic hammered home one last power play for the Trojans as the game wrapped with USC holding at 12-7 victory. For her powerful 12-save performance in the cage in the win, USC goalie Flora Bolonyai earned her second season selection as the MPSF Player of the Week
The No. 14 Hoosiers are 11-3 overall after falling 11-9 at San Jose State this week. USC is a perfect 7-0 all-time against Indiana. The last meeting between the two teams was in the 2011 season opener at the Stanford Invitational, where the Trojans beat the Hoosiers 9-1.
SCOUTING LONG BEACH STATE
The No. 12 49ers enter the week with a 15-6 overall record after beating Bucknell 11-0 last week. LBSU will face host Hawai'i before taking on the Trojans in Honolulu. Chelsea Parks leads LBSU in scoring with 37 goals. Goalie Kelly Ringel averages 7.6 saves and 5.3 goals-against per game. USC is a perfect 35-0 all-time against Long Beach State after beating the 49ers 9-1 last season at the Lancer Invitational.
The No. 11 Rainbow Wahine enter the week at 11-5 overall after a 9-6 loss to LMU in their last action. Hawai'i will face Long Beach State and Indiana before taking on the Trojans in Honolulu. Danielle Lewis leads UH in scoring with 36 goals. Goalie Amy Carlson averages 7.7 saves and 7.8 goals-against per game. USC is a 36-3 all-time against Hawai'i with wins in the past 14 meetings. Last season, USC beat Hawai'i 15-7 in Honolulu and then 16-9 in the NCAA Semifinals.
VICTORS IN IRVINE
USC made a statement with its surge to a second consecutive UCI Invitational title. The Trojans again went big on day one in securing their place in Sunday's semifinals with two strong wins on Saturday. There, USC topped CSU Bakersfield 21-1 before taking out No. 10 Cal State Northridge 12-5. That put USC in a semifinal bout against No. 4 California, and the Trojans were up to the task. Freshman Stephania Haralabidis delivered her first four-goal game to lead the Trojans, with Eike Daube delivering a fourth-quarter hat trick to further charge up USC. The Trojans' balance kept them out of reach of the Bears, as USC built a 4-1 lead in the first frame and carried a 6-3 advantage into the second half. After an even third period, USC's lead was still a strong three goals going into the final stanza. There, the Trojans flexed a little more muscle and plugged in four more goals before the final buzzer sounded on a strong 12-7 win over the Bears. That moved the Trojans into the title match against an upset-minded UCLA squad that had just served up a big win over No. 2 Stanford. That game opened as a defensive battle in comparison to the high-scoring affairs the Women of Troy had been posting on the way in. The Bruins registered the first goal of the game and would put USC in a 2-0 hole out of the gates before Madeline Rosenthal drew first blood for the Trojans with a score from the post during the first frame. The second period would go scoreless until freshman Stephania Haralabidis leveled the score with a strike 20 seconds before halftime hit. In the third, UCLA took a 3-2 lead, but this time Ioanna Haralabidis would come through with the equalizer for the Trojans, locking it a 3-3 with 3:34 on the clock. Colleen O'Donnell bounced USC into the lead for the first time with a score during the third, and she'd pad it out to a 5-3 advantage early in the fourth. The Bruins cut it down to 5-4 with 1:37 to go, and UCLA would get up on a 6-on-5 in the final minute, converting to lock the game back up 5-5 with just five seconds left in regulation. That brought up overtime, where UCLA scored its third straight to take a 6-5 lead midway through the first frame of OT. In the second, the Trojans buckled down. Winners of a triple sudden-death overtime in the 2013 NCAA Championship game, the Women of Troy remained resolute and focused. Just 42 seconds into the second overtime period, Daube whipped in a crosscage score to pull USC even at 7-7. It wasn't long until Daube would deliver again, striking a skipper to take a 7-6 advantage that would hold the rest of the way as USC successful fended off the Bruins to capture the championship.
CARDINAL & GOLD AT THE WHITE HOUSE
For the second time in five years, both the USC men's and women's water polo programs have made a trip to Washington, D.C., to visit the White House as NCAA Champions. United States President Barack Obama extended an invitation to national championship teams from around the country for the opportunity to tour the White House and meet the President on March 10. Head coach Jovan Vavic brought his latest crews of champions, along with his coaching staff and a few support staff, on the memorable journey. Members of USC's 2013 women's team -- which won the NCAA title in a sudden-death victory -- and members of the 2013 men's teams -- which won a sixth consecutive title with an overtime victory -- took the trip to Washington this week. The last USC teams to make such a visit were the Trojans' 2010 champions. That was the last year that the USC men's and women's water polo teams went back-to-back with national championships, and the 2010 water polo teams also made that trip to the White House along with the USC men's tennis team following its 2010 title run.
Following the top-ranked Trojans' powerful run to the 2014 UCI Invitational championship last weekend, USC made it an MPSF sweep of the weekly awards. Junior Eike Daube has locked in her first career selection as the MPSF Player of the Week, and freshman Stephania Haralabidis has hauled in her first collegiate award as the MPSF Newcomer of the Week. Daube went big for the Trojans on the crucial second day of the UCI Invitational, delivering a fourth-quarter hat trick to help lead the Trojans to a 12-7 semifinal win over No. 4 Cal before coming up clutch in the championship game. Daube scored twice during the second overtime period to pull USC out of a 6-5 OT hole and secure the tournament title for the Trojans with a 7-6 comeback win against No. 3 UCLA. Her five goals on Sunday paired with a goal during group play the previous day to give Daube 16 goals this season - just 12 games into the year. As a sophomore, Daube scored 23 total goals in all of 2013. Haralabidis was the Trojans' top scorer at the UCI Invitational. With 10 goals in the tourney, Haralabidis also was key in propelling USC to its second straight UCI Invitational championship. In the semifinal against No. 4 Cal, Haralabidis set a career high for herself with a four-goal game in the win over the Bears. She added her 10th goal of the tourney with an early equalizer for the Trojans in their comeback win over No. 3 UCLA in the title match. On the first day of play, Haralabidis scored twice against CSU Bakersfield and added a hat trick against No. 10 Cal State Northridge.
Freshman Stephania Haralabidis tallied a first-half hat trick for the Trojans in their MPSF opener, delivering three goals in USC's 15-6 win over No. 5 host Arizona State. For her efforts, Haralabidis picked up back-to-back honors as the MPSF Newcomer of the Week, following up her Feb. 24 pick for her work in helping USC to the UCI Invitational championship with another selection on March 3. Haralabidis' three goals against Arizona State came in a four-minute span, helping USC along to an early 6-2 lead on the Sun Devils. In addition to her three goals on four shots taken, Haralabidis also won three sprints, had three steals and served up three assists in the win. Haralabidis now stands as USC's second leading scorer with 30 goals. She is the only Trojan to date to have scored at least one goal in every game.
BY THE NUMBERS
Through these first 15 games of 2014, USC is outscoring opponents 246-59, leading the MPSF in offense and defense to date. Junior Monica Vavic is the top scorer to date with 40 goals as she has climbed to No. 8 all-time in career scoring (156 career goals). Next in line in scoring this year is freshman Stephania Haralabidis with 30 goals, followed by Ioanna Haralabidis with 21, and Eike Daube and Kaleigh Gilchrist with 19 each. Gilchrist is also on the career climb, ranking No. 15 all-time with 126 career goals. On the defensive end, USC has a reliable anchor in senior goalie Flora Bolonyai, who is averaging 9.3 saves per game and 4.2 goals-against per game in her 13 appearances to date.
USC has several Trojans who are on the rise in the career record books. Junior Monica Vavic currently holds 156 career goals to have cracked the all-time top-10. With four goals vs. Bakersfield on March 7, she took over the No. 8 spot previously held by two-time Olympian Kami Craig. Senior Kaleigh Gilchrist, too, is making moves up the ladder. With 126 career goals, Gilchrist ranks No. 15 all-time, standing one away from the No. 14 spot held by another two-time Olympian, Lauren Wenger. Defensively, senior goalie Flora Bolonyai has a chance to take over as USC's all-time career saves leader by the end of the year. Bolonyai passed up Tumua Anae last season to take over at No. 2. Now with 752 career saves to date, Bolonyai is closing the gap between herself and all-time leader Bernice Orwig's 838 saves as a Trojan. All three USC goalies hold the distinction of being Olympians, with Orwig holding a silver medal with Team USA at the 2000 Games and Anae captured gold with the United States in 2012 in London. Bolonyai also is a 2012 Olympian, having played for Hungary in those Games.
FLORA IN CONTROL
Senior goalie Flora Bolonyai was a wall in the cage for the Trojans in their run to capturing the Triton Invitational championship and earned her first season honor of MPSF Player of the Week for her winning efforts. Bolonyai had 10 saves in a 13-0 group-play win over #16 Cal State Northridge -- securing the sixth shutout victory in program history -- to advance the Trojans to the semifinals. There, Bolonyai pinned up another 10-save effort in a 10-4 win over No. 10 Arizona State for a ticket to the final. In the title match, Bolonyai opened the day with a save against a UC Irvine 5-meter penalty shot, and she'd finish with 11 saves in the 8-3 championship win. In all, Bolonyai finished the weekend with 33 saves and seven goals allowed while. On March 17, Bolonyai earned another pick as MPSF Player of the Week after a 12-save outing in a win over Cal.
The 2014 Trojans return five starters from the last national championship team. NCAA Tournament MVP Flora Bolonyai -- an Olympian and a three-time All-American -- is the undeniable backbone of the team as the Trojans' steadfast goalie. She returns as one of five All-Americans back in the water, joined by fellow senior All-Americans Kaleigh Gilchrist, Kelly Mendoza and Madeline Rosenthal. Junior Monica Vavic returns as another All-American as well as the Trojans' top scorer and MPSF Player of the Year last season. That entire group gleaned even more key experience in the offseason, playing internationally throughout the summer along with several other Trojan teammates. Bolonyai won a bronze medal with Hungary at the 2013 FINA World Championships. Gilchrist, Mendoza and Vavic, as well as juniors Colleen O'Donnell and Eike Daube, all spent time with the U.S. National Team. Daube and Vavic combined forces for gold with the U.S. Junior National Team at the FINA Junior World Championships, while Jayde Appel pulled double duty in representing Australia at both the senior and junior World Championships. She'd bring home a World Championship silver medal from Barcelona, where Bolonyai picked up her bronze medal. The international standout list goes on. Back from training with the German National Team is junior Jennifer Stiefel, and new to the Trojan roster this season are the powerful sister act from Greece, Ioanna and Stephania Haralabidis.
2014 TROJANS AT A GLANCE
USC is coming off a 2013 season in which the Trojans posted a 27-1 overall record, culminating the season by knocking off defending champ Stanford 10-9 in triple sudden death overtime for the 2013 NCAA Championship at Harvard. En route to winning their fourth national championship, the Trojans also won the 2013 MPSF Tournament championship with a win over the Cardinal in that title match. This season, USC returns 2013 MPSF Player of the Year and All-American Monica Vavic, who poured in 77 goals last year, along with senior All-Americans Flora Bolonyai at goalkeeper, Kaleigh Gilchrist, Madeline Rosenthal and Kelly Mendoza. Named the 2013 National Coach of the Year, USC head coach Jovan Vavic now enters his 20th season at the helm of the Trojan women's water polo program.
WELCOME TO UYTENGSU!
USC proudly welcomes visitors to the new state-of-the-art Uytengsu Aquatics Center this season. Made possible by the largest gift ever by a former USC student-athlete, swimmer Fred Uytengsu, the new home of the Trojan aquatics programs officially opened on Feb. 21. The pool and diving well both were used for the 1984 Olympic Games, but the surrounding facility has an entirely new look. A fancy new scoreboard as well as stands, overhangs, entryways and buildings with event and office space now surround the pools for an arena that also honors the historic tradition of success that Trojan aquatics exemplifies.