The top-ranked women’s water polo team hit the road over the weekend to face off against No. 10 San Jose State for their second MPSF game. The Trojans came out on top and still perfect, beating the Spartans 11-6 and taking their overall record to 15-0 and 2-0 in MPSF.
The Trojans took offensive command throughout the entire game. Despite a slowdown in the offense in the second quarter, junior 2-meter Avery Peterson and the Trojans increased the tempo for the second half to hammer home a solid victory, with Peterson scoring a hat trick.
In the first quarter, USC fired away goals against SJSU, with a skip shot from junior driver Nikki Stansfield to kick off the scoring frenzy for the Trojans. Next up, junior 2-meter powerhouse Brigitta Games found the back of the net followed by another goal from senior driver Melissa Bergesen to put the Trojans up 3-0.
The defense kept the Spartans silent for the first few minutes of play and it was solid all game long, holding MPSF top scorer Rae Lekness from the Spartans to just one goal. However, the Spartans answered with a goal from Carla Toha-Vilanova. The Trojans quickly bounced back with another 2 goals from Games and junior driver Ioanna Haralabidis to end the first quarter 5-1.
In the second frame, the Trojan offense was unable to convert any goals against Spartans’ goalie Alicia Magliocco, who totaled 11 saves for the entire game. The Spartans were able to knock in a goal to lessen the deficit to 3 goals by the half.
By the third quarter, Lekness, the conference’s leading scorer broke her silence to convert a goal and bring the score to 5-3. The Trojan offense bounced back, led by Peterson, who tallied up 2 back-to-back goals to increase the lead 7-3. Sophomore Annika Jensen also converted one for the Trojans to maintain an 8-4 lead by the end of the third frame.
The final frame would solidify a great win for the Trojans with a power 2-meter goal from Peterson, her third of the evening. Next, the Haralabidis sisters, Stephania and Ioanna, each added a goal to their name to bring the lead to 11-4. The Spartans squirreled away 2 more goals before the end of the period to make the final score 11-6 but proved unsuccessful in toppling the No. 1 Trojans.
USC will hit the road once again this Saturday to face off in a non-conference game against San Diego State. The Trojans will then return home Sunday to host CSU Bakersfield in their third conference match of the season at 1 p.m. at the Uytengsu Aquatics Center.