MPSF Water Polo Results, Sept. 29

Blake Edwards, USC (Photo by John McGillen)
Sept. 29, 2017

USC 16, Cal Baptist 6

USC 24, Fresno Pacific 3

Recap by USC

RIVERSIDE, CALIF. -- The No. 2 USC men's water polo team drummed up back-to-back wins out at the Lancer Joust today, following up a 16-6 win over No. 15 host Cal Baptist with a hefty 24-3 win over Fresno Pacific. In that second match, two Trojans busted loose with new career highs. Senior Blake Edwards tallied seven goals -- the most in a single game by a Trojan since 2014 and the third most in program history -- in the win, while redshirt sophomore Sam Slobodien blasted six goals for the Trojan cause. With these two wins in the books, USC goes to 15-1 overall on the year.

USC surrendered the first goal of the day, but made up that ground quickly against the host Lancers. Cal Baptist wouldn't go away easily, though, pulling back to force a 3-3 lockup in the first before USC fired off three in a row -- including back-to-back blasts from Marko Vavic -- before the end of the frame. USC would move out to a 9-4 halftime lead, then poured out five goals in the third for a lift to lead it 14-6 entering the final frame. There, the Trojan defense pitched a shutout while Murphy Slater slotted two goals to finish out a 16-6 win for the Trojans. Vavic was the high scorer in that one, registering four in the win, with Blake Edwards punching in a hat trick. Goalie McQuin Baron, meanwhile, hauled in 10 saves in a full game's work in the cage.

Both Trojans stayed hot-handed in the next game. Up against Fresno Pacific just minutes after the close of the win over Cal Baptist, USC crafted a 2-0 lead that was soon closed down to one with a 5-meter penalty shot from the Sunbirds. The Trojans would reel off eight straight goals from there to take full control, leading 10-1 before Fresno Pacific managed to stop the run. Sam Slobodien had a new career high locked in by halftime, scoring five of USC's 13 first-half goals. That was good enough for a new career high for the two-meter man, but he'd add to the count late in the game to round out his six-goal effort. So, too, would Blake Edwards charge up a career mark for himself in the game. The Aussie had four goals by halftime, then hammered in three more in the second half. His seventh goal set a new high for Edwards, making him one of just six Trojans to score seven or more in a single game. Further, a second-half hat trick from Vavic pulled the freshman to four goals in the game, while USC rattled off the last 12 goals of the match to win it 24-3. Simon Wu manned the cage in the first half, with Will Rubschlager taking over in the second half and helping to anchor a four-frame shutout by the USC defense.

The Trojans now turn to take a trip to Malibu tomorrow (Sept. 30) for a 12 p.m. clash with Pepperdine.