MPSF Water Polo Results, Sept. 8

McQuin Baron, USC (Photo by Dan Avila)
Sept. 8, 2017

*USC 8, Stanford 6

Recap by USC

LOS ANGELES, CALIF. — The No. 2 USC men's water polo team stayed in control down the stretch for an important early MPSF victory over No. 3 Stanford in a televised game tonight at Uytengsu Aquatics Center. Two seniors and two underclassmen tallied goals for the Trojans while the USC defense fended off the Cardinal when it mattered to register the home-opening victory. USC goes to 3-0 overall and takes a 1-0 start to MPSF play with the win, while Stanford goes to 4-1, 0-1. Senior goalie McQuin Baron tacked up 12 saves as he continues to climb the USC career saves ladder, now standing 19 saves shy of the program record as he hold 837 saves to leader Joel Dennerley's 855. Meanwhile, USC had true freshman Marko Vavic plug in two goals along with a pair apiece from seniors Blake Edwards and Matteo Morelli and single strikes from sophomores Matt Maier and Marin Dasic. The Cardinal got within a goal late in the first and second periods, but the Trojans turned it on with a goal from Maier before halftime and then plugged in two more goals for a three-goal run to lead it by four late in the third to keep USC in control down the stretch. The game opened up with Marko Vavic delivering a searing crosscage strike off a setup from James Walters to give USC a leg up on its first possession of the game. Later, after Thomas Dunstan got the Trojans up on a 6-on-5, the sophomore fed senior captain Blake Edwards for the power play blast and a 2-0 lead with 2:53 on the clock. Stanford would convert on its next 6-on-5 to close the gap to 2-1, only to see the Trojans go back-to-back out of the gates in the second. The period opened with Stanford misfiring off the bar on a 5-meter penalty shot chance. USC promptly responded with a rocket from Matteo Morelli to go up 3-1. Not 27 seconds later, Vavic ripped in another goal to make it 4-1 Trojans. Stanford would manage two goal of its own next to close the gap to one with 3:41 left until halftime. USC's defense made a stand next, with steals from Edwards and Vavic and a field block from Vavic turning away the Cardinal. With a late 6-on-5 chance, Dunstan hit Vavic for a feed to Matt Maier and the slam to get USC a 5-3 halftime advantage. In the second half, Baron turned away a Stanford 6-on-5 shot and the USC got a power play of its own to go. This time, Edwards earned the advantage, with Dunstan finding Morelli for the rocket to the top of the cage to get a 6-3 lead for USC. Stanford would earn a 5-meter penalty — its second of the game — but Baron put up a wall and hauled in the save as the Cardinal came up empty from the 5-meter mark again. Minutes later, Grant Stein delivered a cross on a power play for Marin Dasic to hammer home, and USC was up 7-3 with 3:12 left in the third. Stanford got a lob to go with seconds left in the frame to make it 7-4, but USC's defense shut down the next two Stanford 6-on-5 chances to keep its three-goal advantage intact. With 5:06 to go, Stanford punched in a score to make it 7-5, but Baron was up to the challenge in the next stretch. The Cutino Award winner made three saves against the Cardinal's next few shot attempts before Lachlan Edwards earned one last power play for the Trojans. Brother Blake rifled in the ensuing goal, and USC held an 8-5 lead in the final minute. Stanford would get the last work with a goal with 37 seconds left, but the host Trojans had the game well in hand and finished out the 8-6 victory. USC now heads to Redlands, Calif, to play a pair of games on Sunday (Sept. 10) at the Inland Empire Invitational. The Trojans face Claremont-Mudd-Scripps at 10:20 a.m and then play Redlands at 1 p.m. that day.

UCLA 20, George Washington 4

Recap by UCLA

LOS ANGELES -- The fourth-ranked UCLA Bruins (3-0) opened play at the Princeton Invitational with a 20-4 win over No. 17 George Washington on Friday afternoon at Denunzio Pool, leading wire-to-wire.

Senior Max Irving scored four goals and senior Matt Farmer added a hat trick to lead the Bruins in scoring. Sophomore goalkeeper Alex Wolf registered seven saves in the first three quarters while allowing three scores and senior Aleksandar Ruzic saw his first action of the year, registering two stops while surrendering one goal in the final quarter.

Freshman Quinten Osborne scored the first goal of the game on a counter attack putting the Bruins up 1-0 (5:38). Junior Austin Rone scored on another counter (3:07) as did senior Jesse Camou (2:25) to extend the lead to 3-0. After a goal from the front court by GW's Kerim Sismanoglu (2:01) cut the lead to 3-1, Farmer responded with back-to-back goals from two meters (1:41 and 1:02) to end the scoring in the first with the Bruins leading 5-1.

Irving opened the scoring in the second period with a counter attack goal to push the lead to 6-1 (5:25). Atakan Destici trimmed the lead to 6-2 with a goal after an ordinary foul (4:31). Senior Jack Grover started a streak of nine consecutive goals for the Bruins with a strike from the front court (3:20) to give the Bruins a 7-2 edge. Osborne scored his second of the game with a goal at set (2:20), followed by a counter score from sophomore Eric Goldenberg (1:33) and the Bruins were off and running. Two more counter attack goals would follow, the first by junior Kent Inoue (1:11) and the second by junior David Stiling (0:34), that ended the scoring in the second with UCLA leading 11-2.

Irving opened the third quarter on a tear, scoring three goals in a span of 1:16 (7:30, 7:05 and 6:14) to put the Bruins up 15-2. Freshman Nicolas Saveljic ended the nine-consecutive goals for the Bruins with a power play goal (4:18) that put UCLA up 15-2. Andras Levai scored after a five-meter foul (3:59) to cut the lead to 15-3. But the Bruins answered with four more consecutive goals. Freshman Chasen Travisano scored on a counter (2:38) and Grover netted his second of the game on a power play (0:05) to end the scoring in the third quarter with the Bruins leading 17-3.

Travisano opened the fourth with his second goal of the contest (4:40) with an exclusion goal to put UCLA up 18-3. Farmer completed his hat trick with a goal at two meters (2:15) to give the Bruins a 19-3 advantage. Levai added his second of the game on a GW power play (0:24) to cut the lead to 19-4. Inoue scored his second of the game on a nice drive and finish (0:02) to provide the 20-4 final.

UCLA 12, St. Francis Brooklyn 3

Recap by UCLA

LOS ANGELES -- The fourth-ranked UCLA Bruins (4-0) continued play at the Princeton Invitational and never trailed in a 12-3 win over No. 18 St. Francis Brooklyn (0-5) on Friday afternoon at Denunzio Pool.

Senior Matt Farmer and freshman Quinten Osborne led the Bruins in scoring with two goals apiece. Senior Aleksandar Ruzic got the start and held the Terriers scoreless in the first half while recording four saves. Sophomore Alex Wolf played the second half and registered seven saves while allowing three scores. He also picked up a huge save on a penalty shot at the start of the third quarter.

Osborne scored the first goal of the game from two meters, putting the Bruins up 1-0 (6:51). Freshman Chasen Travisano made it 2-0 with a power play goal (3:06) and Farmer scored his first on a power play (1:44) to end the scoring in the first period with the Bruins leading 3-0.

The Bruins also pitched a shutout in the second period in a defensive-minded quarter, scoring just two goals. Sophomore James Vlachonassios scored from the front court (7:12) and Osborne added a power play goal (2:16) to end the scoring in the second quarter with UCLA leading 5-0.

Farmer opened the third quarter with a goal at set (6:45) to extend the lead to 6-0. Bogdan Kostic scored on a counter attack (3:34) to trim the lead to 6-1. But UCLA scored the final two goals of the period to take an 8-1 lead into the fourth. Senior Max Irving scored a goal at two meters (3:25) and senior Jack Grover added a counter attack goal (2:44) to give the Bruins some more breathing room.

Freshman Nicolas Saveljic opened the fourth with a goal from the front court (7:33) to extend the lead to 9-1. After a timeout, the Terriers got a power play goal from Botono Kadar (6:29) to cut the lead to 9-2. Junior Warren Snyder scored his first goal of the game with a strike from the front court (4:13) to push the lead to 10-2. Senior James Robinson made it 11-2 with his first goal of the game from the front court (2:36). Alexander Teplitsky scored a power play goal for the Terriers to trim the lead to 11-3 with 2:08 to go. Sophomore Eric Goldenberg ended the scoring with a goal from the front court (1:38) to provide the 12-3 final.

The Bruins return to action early tomorrow with a game against No. 16 Bucknell at 7:30 a.m. ET/4:30 a.m. PT. The Bruins also take on No. 14 Brown tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. ET/9:30 a.m. PT.