MPSF Water Polo Results, Feb. 11

Brianna Daboub, USC (Photo by John McGillen)
Brianna Daboub, USC (Photo by John McGillen)
Feb. 11, 2018

USC 6, UCLA 4

USC 7, UC Irvine 5

Recap by USC

LA JOLLA, CALIF. -- The No. 2 USC women's water polo team never trailed and never looked back in beating No. 4 rival UCLA 6-4 to claim the Trojans' fifth consecutive title at the Triton Invitational. USC had topped UC Irvine 7-5 in the morning's semifinals to face the Bruins in the title match, and once again USC's defense reigned supreme in anchoring the Trojans to victory. USC is now 7-0 overall in 2018.

In order to earn that rivalry matchup in the tournament final, USC had to get through a tough UC Irvine squad. Ranked No. 7 in the nation, the Anteaters were in stride with the Trojans until USC senior captain Brianna Daboub got USC the lead on what was her 100th career goal. Up 3-2 at the end of the first, USC pressed on to victory with goalie Victória Chamorro delivering 13 saves to keep the Anteaters at bay. Meanwhile, freshman Paige Hauschild matched senior Hayley McKelvey's two opening goals with back-to-back strikes in the third. Up 6-4 entering the fourth, Annika Jensen joined the scoresheet while Courtney Fahey nabbed a steal against UC Irvine's final possession to secure the 7-5 win for the Trojans.

Up agains the Bruins in the evening's final, Hauschild opened the scoring for the Trojans on a 6-on-5 finish. UCLA equalized, but junior goalie Amanda Longan made the stop on the Bruins' next try and then Daboub delivered for a 2-1 USC lead. That would do it for the first frame, but USC struck first again in the second. Kelsey McIntosh took the Trojans to a 3-1 lead before Longan roared to back-to-back blocks and then slammed away a UCLA 5-meter penalty try for a huge boost to the Trojan cause. UCLA moved it to a 3-2 margin by the end of the half, then equalized early in the third, only to see Daboub earn a 5-meter penalty that Denise Mammolito hammered home for a 4-3 USC advantage. In the fourth, Daboub zipped in her second of the game to go up 5-3. Next, Hauschild took a feed from McKelvey to pad out USC's lead to 6-3. The USC defense would shut down the next few UCLA offensive series, although the Bruins would convert with 3:05 to go, making it 6-4. The stalwart Trojan defense did the rest, as USC closed out the game as a 6-4 win that locked up the Trojans' fifth straight Triton Invitational crown.

USC's next competition is two weeks away, with the Trojans heading to Irvine for action at the Barbara Kalbus Invitational Feb. 23-25.

Arizona State 8, UC Irvine 7

Recap by ASU

SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- The No. 6 Arizona State University water polo team defeated No. 7 UC Irvine, 8-7, to capture third place at the UCSD Triton Invitational Sunday evening at Triton Pool.

Arizona State (9-2) moved to 3-1 at the Triton Invitational with the victory, including a pair of wins over Top-10 team. The Sun Devils notched their eighth victory over a CWPA Top-25 team this season. Six Sun Devils appeared in the scoring column including multi-goal games from Alkistis Benekou and Bente Rogge.

In a reversal of fortune from the match earlier in the day against UCLA, it would be the Sun Devils beating the clock and scoring the game winning goal with under ten seconds left. This time, Alkistis Benekou came through with the game winning goal on the final possession, beating the goalie with just two seconds left for her second goal of the game.

A back-and-forth first period with three separate ties set the tone for what would be a match of lead changes and momentum swings. Bente Rogge two first period goals allowed the Sun Devils to gain some confidence offensively.

The Sun Devils would have to make up a two-goal deficit twice, the final time coming back from a 4-6 hole to defeat the Anteaters. A pair of seniors, Kayla Casas and Alkistis Benekou, lead the charge with a pair of third period goals that evened up the score.

Maud Koopman would give the Sun Devils a brief lead, 7-6, with her goal to open up the final period. It would be up to the senior, Alkistis Benekou, to come through when the team needed her the most. The veteran notched a goal with just two seconds left to help Arizona State capture third place. Mia Rycraw was once again solid in net, finishing the match with nine saves and three steals.

UC Irvine (3-4) would strike first in the contest with a goal early in the first period. It would not take long for the Sun Devils offense to mount a response, as Bente Rogge sent one past the goalie to tie the game at one with 6:55 remaining in the first.

UC Irvine would re-take the lead with a score to go up 2-1. Bente Rogge was not done yet in the period, as she once again would tie up the game, this score with 5:15 remaining in the first. The momentum swings continued throughout the period, as P.J. Allin registered a goal to give the Sun Devils their first lead of the game at 3-2. The Anteaters would find the back of the net with 2:18 left in the first to tie the game for the third time through just the one period. The score would remain tied at three through the end of the first period.

UC Irvine came out strong at the start of the second period, scoring back-to-back goals early in the quarter to take a 5-3 lead. Julia Reyes would come through when the Sun Devils needed a goal, beating the UC Irvine goaltender to cut their lead to one with 1:35 remaining in the half. The score would remain that way with the Sun Devils trailing by one at the break.

Similar to the first half, UC Irvine would break into the scoring column first in the half. With the Sun Devils trailing 6-4, Alkistis Benekou got the Sun Devils going in the half with her first goal of the day to trim the lead to one. Shortly after, fellow veteran leader Kayla Casas made sure things were back to even on the scoreboard, scoring a goal to tie the game at six with 2:58 remaining in the third. The score would remain knotted at six for the rest of the period, with the contest to be decided in the final eight minutes.

Maud Koopman provided the Sun Devils their second lead of the evening, with a goal a minute into the final period. The lead would be short lived, however, as UC Irvine responded with a goal of their own to even the score back up at seven.

The scoring would subside through the middle of the period, with both defenses and goaltenders settling in. Seven consecutive scoreless minutes from both sides were snapped by the game deciding goal. Alkistis Benekou found the back of the net with the game-winner with only two seconds remaining in the contest.

Up next, the Sun Devil will prepare for their final road tournament of the season at the Barbara Kalbus Invitational hosted by UC Irvine at the Anteater Aquatics Complex. The matchups will once again be scheduled based on rankings. Follow our social media accounts at @SunDevilWP and check out our website during the week for updates and more information.

UCLA 7, Arizona State 6

Recap by UCLA

SAN DIEGO - The No. 4 UCLA women's water polo team fell to No. 2 USC, 6-4, in the Triton Invitational title game Sunday. The game was the second of the day for the Bruins, who defeated No. 6 Arizona State, 7-6, on a Lizette Rozeboom scoring strike with 10 seconds remaining.

Maddie Musselman and Lizette Rozeboom each registered three goals across the two games. Six different Bruins found the back of the net in the semifinal win--including four in the fourth quarter. Carlee Kapana racked up 10 saves in the title game, while Hannah Storum recorded five in the earlier contest.

It was a slow start for both teams in the semifinal, which marked the first game against an MPSF opponent for each side. Just over five minutes into the opening frame, Rozeboom and the Bruins broke through for the first goal. The second quarter belonged to the Sun Devils, who got two goals from Bente Rogge and a third from Lena Mihailovic to take a 3-1 lead. Lexi Liebowitz of the Bruins made it 3-2 heading into the second half.

Bronte Halligan pulled the Bruins even almost just shy of the midway point of the third. Maud Koopman would answer to retake the lead for ASU heading to the fourth, when the floodgates opened. Musselman and Brooke Maxson each scored early in the stanza to give the Bruins a 5-4 lead before Kate Cassidy was finally able to pull the Sun Devils even at the 2:00 mark. Devin Grab and Koopman traded scoring strikes to keep the score level, setting the stage for Rozeboom. The Bruin junior took full advantage of a six-on-five opportunity and snuck one past Mia Rycraw to give UCLA a lead it would not relinquish.

Paige Hauschild got the Trojans on the board first in the final, though Grace Reego would quickly answer to pull the Bruins even. Brianna Daboub re-established the USC lead midway through the quarter and the Trojans maintained the edge into the second frame.

Kelsey McIntosh extended the lead to 3-1 early in the second. Defense took over for a majority of the quarter, which did not see another goal until Musselman pulled the Bruins closer with less than two minutes left in the half.

The Bruins tied the score at 4:37 of the third on a Rozeboom strike. Denise Mammolito ensured UCLA would not take its first lead, though, putting the Trojans back up with 3:07 to go in the third. Daboub and Hauschild each scored early in the fourth to give the Trojans their first three-goal lead of the game. Musselman added her second with 3:05 to go, but the Bruins were unable to do any more damage as the Trojans secured their fifth straight Triton Invite title.

Next up for the Bruins is a road date with No. 7 UC Irvine. The Bruins and Anteaters will square off Friday, Feb. 16 at 7 p.m.