By With a balanced attack and solid defense between the pipes, the No. 2 women’s water polo team racked up three blowout wins over the weekend to remain undefeated in their 2017 campaign. The Trojans (10-0) secured victories over No. 15 San Diego State, Pomona-Pitzer and Chapman University in less than a 24-hour period, scoring 72 goals and holding their opponents to just nine goals combined.
In its first game of the year at the Uytengsu Aquatics Center, USC recorded a swift 23-6 victory over the visiting Aztecs. After a 1-1 tie early on, USC raced out to a 15-4 lead by halftime and never looked back. Nine different Trojans would score in the game, led by senior All-American driver Stephania Haralabidis’ five goals and junior utility Annika Jensen’s career-high four goals. In addition, senior two-meter Brigitta Games and freshman utility Maud Megens added hat tricks, while freshman driver Kelsey McIntosh scored the first two goals of her USC career. Defensively, sophomore goalie Amanda Longan recorded 10 saves in the first half, while junior goalie Victoria Chamorro tallied five saves to close out the win.
It would be a quick turnaround the next day as the Trojans traveled over to Whittier, Calif. for a doubleheader at the 2017 Whittier Invitational. In their 9 a.m. tilt against Pomona-Pitzer, USC held the opposition scoreless until the fourth quarter, as Longan completed the game with 11 saves en route to the 25-2 victory. Twelve different Trojans scored against the Sagehens, with junior driver Brianna Daboub and McIntosh leading the way with four goals apiece.
Soon thereafter, USC took on Chapman University and maintained that same scoring prowess, securing a big 24-1 victory over the Panthers. The Trojans scored nine goals and allowed just one in the opening frame, as Chamorro and freshman Holly Parker helped keep Chapman scoreless for the rest of the game. On offense, Games led the team with four goals, while Daboub and Haralabidis added three goals each. Sophomore driver Courtney Fahey, senior two-meter Avery Peterson, senior driver Nikki Stansfield and freshman driver Sawyer Belville all recorded two goals to help the Trojan cause, while freshmen Kaylee Brownsberger, Elise Stein, Denise Mammolito and McIntosh all chipped in one goal to close out the win.
The Trojans will be back in the pool next weekend when they travel down to La Jolla, Calif., to take part in the Triton Invitational. USC opens up competition against Santa Clara on Saturday (Feb. 11), followed by a game against either Hartwick or San Diego State.