Hartwick proves to be no match for Women of Troy
On a day when its starters rode the bench for most of the game, the USC womenâs water polo team still managed to cruise to its fifth straight win, an easy 19-5 home victory over No. 19 Hartwick.
Eleven different players scored for No. 3 USC (16-3, 3-1) in the nonconference win over the Hawks (19-8), who had their own three-match win streak snapped.
The relatively short-handed Hawks dressed 11 players -â half of USCâs roster.
âWe have a lot of depth,â sophomore two-meter Madeline Rosenthal said. âA lot of times itâs intimidating for other teams. It also keeps us fresh and lets us be stronger toward the ends of games.â
Junior two-meter Patricia Jancso led the Women of Troy with four goals, including a buzzer-beater from half-court.
Junior driver Chelsea Silvers tied a career high with three goals, and sophomore two-meter Kaleigh Gilchrist also recorded a hat trick.
âIt was pretty cool, but I wasnât really focused on scoring,â Silvers said. âItâs more about finishing opportunities as a team. … When you have the opportunity, take it, but donât be a ballhog.â
After the Women of Troy jumped out to a 4-1 lead near the end of the first quarter, USC coach Jovan Vavic subbed in more of his seldom-used players, who played most of the match against Hartwick and held strong.
âItâs always great when everyone gets some playing time,â Rosenthal said. âNot a lot of teams can put six girls in with a new wave [of substitutions].â
After Rosenthal and junior driver Dominique Sardo commenced the scoring, Hartwick cut the deficit to 2-1 on a strike from Jemma Dendy Young.
It was the only score that sophomore goalkeeper Flora Bolonyai would concede for the Women of Troy -â from there, USC went on a 9-0 run that spanned over halftime.
âWe were just trying to execute the half-court offense that weâve been practicing,â Rosenthal said. âEveryone has had a lot of practice with that [set].â
It showed. The Women of Troy scored five goals each in the second, third and fourth periods.
After collecting four saves in the first half, Bolonyai gave way to senior goalkeeper Morgan Vickers, who kept up solid defense in the third quarter.
Heading into the final period, USC held a dominating 14-2 lead.
âThis program prides itself a lot on its defense, and knowing the system, and executing what the coaches tell us,â Silvers said. âIf we execute what weâre supposed to do, then it leads to good things.â
USCâs defense started to slip a little in the fourth quarter, causing coach Vavic to yell, âWe arenât playing defense!â just as Hartwick scored early in the period to make the score 14-3.
Vickers let up two more goals in the fourth quarter, but the Hawks never made a run, as the Women of Troy responded to every Hartwick goal with a score of their own.
The Women of Troy will now prepare for their crucial home match on Saturday against No. 5 California (16-5, 3-1) at 1 p.m. at McDonaldâs Swim Stadium.
Though it is not the teamâs last home game, the squadâs three seniors â Nadia Dan, Kara-Leigh Huse and Vickers â will be honored in a pregame ceremony for Senior Day.