USC Wins UC Irvine Tournament; MPSF Begins This Week

MPSPORTSDOTORG Anni Espar, USC
MPSPORTSDOTORG
Anni Espar, USC
MPSPORTSDOTORG

Feb. 25, 2013

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USC (12-0 Overall/0-0 MPSF) stayed unbeaten with another tournament sweep, this time defeating Pacific (14-2), San Diego State (17-5), UCLA (11-10), and No. 1 Stanford (13-10) in the finals at UC Irvine. The Trojans snapped a 15-game win streak for Stanford dating back to last year. In her collegiate debut, Anni Espar totaled eight goals, including four in the championship. Hannah Buckling added three in that game. The Trojans visit California Saturday (Mar. 2) in their MPSF opener.

STANFORD (12-1 Overall/0-0 MPSF) was the UC Irvine Tournament runner-up, getting to the finals with wins over CSU Bakersfield, 13-4, Hawaii, 12-5, and Arizona State in the semifinals, 10-3. Freshman Maggie Steffens collected a team-high eight goals over the four games, including three in the finals. The Cardinal hosts their MPSF opener Saturday against CSUB.

UCLA (16-2 Overall/0-0 MPSF) took three of four in Irvine, with wins over UC San Diego, 12-8, UC Irvine, 7-6, and Arizona State 14-7 in the third-place game. Freshman Rachel Fattal scored a career-high five of her 12 goals in the bronze win over the Sun Devils. The Bruins meet ASU again this week, which opens conference action in Tempe Saturday.

ARIZONA STATE (11-3 Overall/0-0 MPSF) won both games on day one in Irvine, topping CS Northridge, 11-6, and No. 4 California, 8-7. E.B. Keeve recorded 14 saves in each of these wins, totaling 49 in the four games. The fourth-place finish is the best all-time for ASU at the UCI Tournament. The Sun Devils get a quick rematch with UCLA from the third-place game, hosting the Bruins to begin MPSF action Saturday.

CALIFORNIA (12-2 Overall/0-0 MPSF) won both Sunday games in Irvine for a fifth-place finish. The Bears ousted San Diego State, 8-6 and Hawaii, 10-6. Emily Csikos combined for a weekend total 11 goals, while Breda Vosters added seven. California plays its MPSF opener Saturday at home against top-ranked USC.

SAN JOSE STATE (8-5 Overall/0-0 MPSF) split four UCI Tournament games, defeating CSU Bakersfield, 13-6 and UC Santa Barbara for 11th-place, 12-10. Freshman Rae Lekness had 10 goals followed by Timi Molnar with nine during the weekend. The Spartans are off this week.

CSU BAKERSFIELD (4-13 Overall/0-0 MPSF) Nicola Barrett scored four goals during the UCI Tournament, upping her total to 23, averaging 1.35 per contest. The Roadrunners travel to Stanford Saturday in the program's first-ever MPSF game.

ANNI ESPAR MPSF KAP 7 PLAYER OF THE WEEK

USC freshman Anni Espar (Barcelona, Spain/IES CAR) scored three goals in an 11-10 win over No. 3 UCLA in the semifinals, followed by a game-high four goals in the 13-10 upset of top-ranked Stanford in the UCI Tournament finals. Espar finished her first collegiate weekend with eight goals to help USC stay perfect at 12-0 overall.

Also Nominated: Maggie Steffens (STAN); Rachel Fattal (UCLA)...

HANNAH BUCKLING MPSF KAP 7 NEWCOMER OF THE WEEK

USC junior Hannah Buckling (Sydney, Australia, Sydney University) scored three straight goals to dig the Trojans out of a 7-5 hole for an 8-7 lead early in the second half, helping lead the win over No. 1 Stanford. In all, Buckling scored five goals during the UCI Tournament, four coming on the second day.

Also Nominated: Maggie Steffens (STAN); Rachel Fattal (UCLA)...