MPSF Water Polo Results, Apr. 7

Amanda Longan, USC (Photo courtesy USC)
Amanda Longan, USC (Photo courtesy USC)
April 7, 2018

at USC 11, California 6

Recap by USC

FOR RELEASE APRIL 7

No. 3 USC Delivers Decisive 11-6 Win Over No. 2 Cal Trojans put together a powerful all-around effort to take down the Golden Bears in MPSF action.

LOS ANGELES, CALIF. -- The No. 3 USC women's water polo team made a power move in MPSF action tonight with a resounding 11-6 win over visiting No. 2 California. The Golden Bears had held a one-goal lead in the first period of play before USC edged to take a 4-3 halftime advantage. In the second half, however, it was all USC. While goalie Amanda Longan worked her way to a 15-save outing, Maud Megens and Annika Jensen busted out second-half hat tricks to net the Trojans the powerful home win. Winners of eight straight now, USC improves to 18-1 overall and to 2-0 in MPSF play. Cal goes to 17-4, 4-2.

USC's stabilizer throughout the game was senior captain Brianna Daboub. After Cal struck first with a bar-in blast to take the opening lead, Daboub earned a 6-on-5 for USC and then promptly deposited the early equalizer off a setup from Jensen. When Cal got a skipper to go to nudge ahead 2-1, Daboub opened the second period with a strike out of set off a pass from Denise Mammolito. Daboub wouldn't score again in the game, but she'd get her Trojans up on power plays and deliver a couple more key assists before the Trojans' day's work was done. At the other end, it was Longan who reigned supreme in the cage. After one of her 15 saves on the night, USC went the other way and made the most of a 6-on-5 earned by Jensen. Megens would hit senior Hayley McKelvey for a booming slam to get USC a lead that it would not relinquish, up for the first time in the game with 4:44 on the clock in the second period. McKelvey issued a field block next to follow a save from Longan against a Cal power play, and then Kelsey McIntosh hit Megens for a ripper that made it 4-2 Trojans. Cal would sail in a score soon after, and USC would grip a 4-3 lead for halftime.

The third period unfurled with a scoring frenzy. Another USC 6-on-5 care of Daboub was finished off with a bullet from McKelvey off an assist from Paige Hauschild to get a 5-3 lead. Not 30 seconds later, McIntosh and Megens made another winning combination to make it 6-3 Trojans. That prompted a back-and-forth exchange with four goals scored in just over a minute. Cal would answer with a 6-on-5 strike, followed by another ripper from Megens off a feed from Daboub. Cal delivered a crosscage score next to make it 7-5 and would later close the gap to one with a score that made it 7-6 with 3:54 left in the third. Undeterred, USC responded with a steal from Megens and then a bold move from Longan to squash a pair of Cal possessions. With 1:18 left in the frame, McKelvey found Jensen for a rocket that proved too strong for the Cal defense to tug the Trojans ahead 8-6 entering the fourth. In the final frame it was all USC. While Longan collected another half-dozen saves in the final eight minutes, USC got two big blasts from Jensen and then a nifty score from Megens to make it a fourth-period shutout of the Golden Bears en route to a final 11-6 USC victory.

USC next heads north for a pair of games next weekend. The Trojans have a key MPSF matchup at Stanford set for 5:30 p.m. on Friday (April 13) in Palo Alto. That one will be televised live on Pac-12 Networks. Then, USC will pay a visit to San José State for a 2 p.m. contest on Saturday (April 14).

Stanford 8, at UCLA 5

Recap by Stanford

LOS ANGELES -- No. 1 Stanford used a fast start and strong finish to weather a mid-game drought and notched its first MPSF victory of the season with an 8-5 win at No. 4 UCLA on Saturday afternoon.

Makenzie Fischer had her third consecutive hat trick and fifth of the season and Kat Klass added her seventh multi-goal effort of the year to power the Cardinal (14-1, 1-1 MPSF) offense. Julia Hermann made seven total saves and Stanford pitched a fourth-quarter shutout to beat the Bruins (21-4, 2-2 MPSF) for the third consecutive time.

Stanford rattled the cage five times in the first quarter and was up four, but went the next 16 minutes without a goal as UCLA battled back to even things up at 5-5 when Maddie Musselman scored five minutes into the third.

With less than a minute to go in the period, Katie Dudley drew an exclusion and Fischer ended the Stanford drought and stalled UCLA's momentum with skip shot past Carlee Kapana to make it 6-5. Madison Berggren hit Klass driving inside early in the fourth and Klass, who had trouble getting an initial grip on the ball, had enough time to regather and deposited her shot just inside the near post.

Stanford's defense clamped down and after forcing UCLA to cede possession on two consecutive trips down the pool, Jordan Raney put the game out of reach when she took a pass from Berggren and whipped it past Kapana in one motion with 3:43 on the clock.

With the Cardinal up 5-1 heading into the second period, neither team was able to generate any offense for the first five minutes until Myna Simmons found the back of the cage at 3:04 to begin the Bruins' four-goal run. That would be the only tally of the quarter and UCLA drew even closer when Musselman converted her team's third power play goal 56 seconds after the start of the second half.

All five Bruin goals came in 6-on-5 situations. Alexis Angermund cut Stanford's advantage to one when she scored with 4:24 on the clock in the third before Musselman tied it 90 seconds later seconds in another extra player situation for UCLA.

Stanford scored on its first trip down to open the game on a sequence which had Berggren finding Klass inside following some good movement off the ball. At 4:47 in the opening frame Fischer rocketed one in from eight meters out and after Rachel Whittlegge scored for the Bruins the Cardinal collected a goal out of its two-meter offense when Hannah Shabb fed Katie Dudley.

The Cardinal took over possession just over halfway through the quarter when UCLA was whistled for a contra foul and Fischer walked it in and went with a cross-cage skip to the top corner for her second of the afternoon to make it 4-1. A Fischer field block with under a minute to play led to a breakaway for Berggren and goal at the other end to close Stanford's five-score first period.

Stanford returns home on Friday, April 13 for a game against No. 3 USC at 5:30 p.m. on Pac-12 Networks.