In its first of three games slated to be played over the next three days, the USC women’s water polo team notched an impressive 15-6 home victory over Brown in nonconference play at McDonald’s Swim Stadium, marking the team’s 15th consecutive win.
No. 1 USC (15-1, 4-0) watched its offense overpower a No. 20 Brown defense that at times looked almost helpless to do anything to stop the Women of Troy’s overwhelming attack.
“We are a good offensive team,” said USC coach Jovan Vavic following the game. “We have some good outside shooters. We have good two-meter players as well.”
One of those players happens to be freshman two-meter Patricia Jancso, who ranks second on the team in goals scored in 2010. Against Brown, the Hungarian native put her offensive prowess on display for all to enjoy by netting a hat trick — and all three goals came during the first three quarters. But as usual, the Women of Troy’s offensive onslaught was not limited to simply one individual.
Four other players — senior driver Kally Lucas, junior driver Joelle Bekhazi, senior two-meter Kami Craig and sophomore driver Nadia Dan — tallied two goals apiece, with a total of nine players getting on the scoreboard at least once. Such balanced scoring has become a staple for USC under the leadership of Vavic.
“Collectively, we can score goals,” Vavic said. “That’s nothing new. It’s just now we’re actually putting the ball in the net.”
But even with the team’s success on offense, the Women of Troy committed several uncharacteristic fouls and had a few defensive miscues that kept the game closer than many would have liked.
“I didn’t like some of the calls but in the end we were just tired,” Vavic said. “I knew this week wasn’t going to be the same as when we normally get to rest the players. Whenever you’re tired, you don’t think, you don’t focus. So that results in some of the mental errors we committed today.”
As a result, Brown was able to notch a total of six goals — the third-highest scoring output any team has had against the Women of Troy this season.
“I think we were a little tired and that showed,” Vavic added.
With Thursday’s victory over Brown now in the history books, the Women of Troy will once again be forced to bounce back quickly with a Saturday double-header against No. 19 Cal State Bakersfield and No. 10 Cal State Northridge at home. However, neither game will be a cake walk, as both teams are considered to be among the best on the West Coast, particularly the Matadors, who already have 20 wins on the year and feature one of the top goal scorers in the country in Whitney Delgado.
Stopping Delgado, who has already notched 53 goals on the year, will be the team’s highest priority if they plan on leaving the weekend with two more wins in hand.