USC Wins SoCal; UCSB Makes Stunning Run

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Oct. 1, 2012

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USC (14-0 Overall, 1-0 MPSF) Nikola Vavic poured in six of his 16 goals last week in the SoCal championship game against UC Santa Barbara. The Trojans cruised in the finals (14-5), after defeating UC Irvine (10-5) in the semifinal Sunday, and Pacific (9-4) and St. Francis (15-4) on Saturday. Vavic became the third Trojan since '01 to record six goals in a game. USC travels to Stanford on Pac-12 Networks for a Saturday (Oct. 6) MPSF showdown.

UC SANTA BARBARA (12-3 Overall, 0-0 MPSF) was this year's host of the annual SoCal Tournament, and the Gauchos took advantage. A first round win over UC San Diego (15-8), followed by upsets over Stanford (12-9) and UCLA (11-10) carried UCSB on a run to the finals. The win over the Bruins was a program first since 1992, a span of 35 meetings. The Gauchos stay home for a Sunday (Oct. 7) doubleheader with Iona and Harvard.

UCLA (15-2 Overall, 0-0 MPSF) claimed first day wins over Santa Clara (17-3) and Pepperdine (14-7) and a third-place Sunday decision over UC Irvine (14-8). Paul Reynolds had four goals and Matt Rapacz collected 15 saves for the bronze. The Bruins' MPSF opener is Saturday (Oct. 6) at California with live coverage on Pac-12 Networks, followed by a non-conference tilt at UC Davis Sunday (Oct. 7)

UC IRVINE (12-3 Overall, 0-0 MPSF) Alex Kazmier had 15 saves and Bojan Hrlec scored four goals in the third-place game against UCLA. The Anteaters defeated UC Davis (13-6) and upset California (13-11) on the first day, as Hrlec also put away four against the latter. UCI partakes in the Claremont Convergence this weekend, facing Whittier and La Verne Saturday.

STANFORD (6-2 Overall, 0-0 MPSF) won three SoCal games in finishing fifth in Santa Barbara. The Cardinal defeated Princeton (13-6) Saturday, and Pepperdine (13-8) and Pacific (9-5) Sunday. Forrest Watkins scored five goals vs. the Waves, before Alex Bowen provided the four-goal difference against the Tigers. Scott Platshon combined for 19 saves on day two. The Cardinal host No. 1 USC for an MPSF opener on Pac-12 Networks Saturday.

PACIFIC (7-5 Overall, 0-0 MPSF) junior goalkeeper Alex Malkis combined for a remarkable 70 tournament saves (17.50 SPG) as the Tigers split their four games to finish sixth in Santa Barbara. Saturday's win came over Long Beach State (11-10), followed by a Sunday upset over No. 4 Cal in overtime (10-9), the first win since 1999 over the Bears. Alex Obert scored five of 10 weekend goals against Cal. Malkis had a career-high 22 saves vs. Stanford.

CALIFORNIA (9-5 Overall, 0-1 MPSF) Aleksa Saponjic recorded four goals and Michael Boggan 11 saves in the seventh-place victory over Pepperdine, 12-9. The Bears routed Air Force (22-4) Saturday, as Saponjic also scored four. Boggan combined for 44 saves over the four games. This Saturday in Berkeley, Cal looks to avenge an 11-10 overtime loss to the Bruins, Sept. 16 in the semifinals of the NorCal Invitational.

PEPPERDINE (6-5 Overall, 0-0 MPSF) Stephen Loomis and Spencer Hamby delivered four goals apiece, while Bence Valics picked up 13 saves in a 12-7 first-round SoCal victory over Loyola Marymount. Matthew DeTrane racked up a game and career-high five goals in the seventh-place outing against California. The Waves host Concordia Saturday (Oct. 6).

LONG BEACH STATE (12-3 Overall, 0-0 MPSF) won its home opener last Thursday, 15-7 over Navy, and followed up with a 2-2 split at the SoCal. The 49ers defeated St. Francis, 12-4, and Air Force, 13-7 in the tournament. Dan Matulis poured in a 13-goal week over the five games. Long Beach State plays in the Claremont Tournament this weekend (Oct. 5-6).

NIKOLA VAVIC MPSF/KAP7 PLAYER OF THE WEEK

USC junior Nikola Vavic (Rancho Palos Verdes/Loyola HS) became the third Trojan since `01 to score six goals in a game when he set a new career-high in the 14-5 SoCal Championship win over UC Santa Barbara. Vavic had a hat trick in the first period, scoring USC's first three goals on the way to finishing the tournament with a grand total of 14. That effort went along with two goals the day before the tournament began, and with 16 across five games last week, Vavic takes over at No. 14 all-time in career scoring at USC (133). Also Nominated: Alex Malkis (PAC); Myles Christian (UCSB); Bojan Hrlec (UCI)