No. 1 USC, which took its place at the top of the rankings after last weekend’s Triton Invitational, continued to dominate in the pool, winning 15-3 over CSU Northridge in Saturday’s game at the Utengysu Aquatic Center.
After toppling UCLA 8-6 in the final round of last week’s Triton Invitational, USC became the last MPSF team to remain undefeated with a perfect 6-0 heading into Saturday’s game, where the Trojans took their record to 7-0.
The Trojans took a commanding lead against CSUN in the first quarter with 2 hat trick goals for junior attacker Stephania Haralibidis and 2 more from sophomores Hayley Mckelvey and Brianna Daboub, taking advantage of open water to convert goals. While the offense was tallying up the scoreboard, the Trojan defense kept the Matadors to just one goal for the entire first half with four saves from freshman goalkeeper Amanda Longan in the first quarter alone.
In the second quarter, the Trojan offense began teeing off on the Matadors putting away 4 more goals from McKelvey, Jensen, Brigitta Games, Ioanna Haralibidis and Brianna Daboub. In the cage, Longan had a quarter shutout with three more saves to bring her total to seven by the end of the first half.
The action continued in the second half with a pair of hat trick goals from the Haralibidis duo — Stephania and Ioanna — accompanied by goals from senior Melissa Bergesen and juniors Avery Peterson and Brigitta Games. By the end of the third quarter, Longan brought her total to 13 saves, a career high for her debut season thus far.
Senior Alegra Hueso took over the cage in the fourth quarter to keep the Matadors at just 3 goals for the duration of the game. On offense, Stephania Haralibidis converted her 4th goal of the day bringing the final score to 15-3.
“Being named MPSF newcomer shows that people are paying attention to all the hard work we put in. It’s very encouraging going forward into the season,” said Longan, who was awarded the MPSF Newcomer Award last week averaging 6.4 saves per game in 10 periods of play.
“In preparation for the UCI tournament next weekend, we will be working hard in practice,” said top scorer of the game Stephania Haralibidis, who won the MPSF Player of the Week for her work in the UC San Diego Tournament. “It’s important that we have good communication and trust because we love each other as a team and can do great things if we keep working together.”
On Feb. 27-28, the Trojans will travel to Irvine to play in the UCI Invitational where they expect to rematch against top-ranked MPSF teams.