There are tough days, there are successful days and then there are career-defining days. On Sunday, a few Women of Troy rewrote their own record books with unbelievable individual performances against No. 8 Pacific at the Utengsu Aquatics Center.
Although they have been strong throughout their USC tenures thus far, sophomores Maud Megens and Denise Mammolito have never been quite as dominant as they were this past Sunday. In a match-up against Pacific, a top-10 program that had been riding a strong three-game winning streak, the pair of second-year players had their work cut out for them.
To make things more difficult, USC was on the second day of a back-to-back stretch that included a trip to Tempe to take on Arizona State the day before. While the Trojans were able to push forward to a relatively calm 12-6 victory over the Sun Devils, any two-day stretch of consecutive matches will tire down a squad. Well, any squad but the Trojan women.
“It takes two or three tough matches [in a row] to win [in the NCAA tournament],” coach Jovan Vavic said. “We have been doing this a long time and know that you have to be able to perform in situations like that.”
As a result, the Women of Troy, especially Megens and Mammolito, were less tired than and motivated to take on Pacific. After contributing greatly to the win over Arizona State, Mammolito had a hat trick while Megens contributed a score of her own — the pair came out firing against the Tigers.
By the end of the first half, USC had a commanding 12-2 lead off of an unbelievable 6-goal half from Megens. That mark was already enough to set a new career high for the sophomore utility player and would be further extended after she scored her seventh in the fourth period. Megens’ performance marks not only the highest individual offensive production of the season for USC but also the third-most prolific goal scoring day in program history.
“[Maud] is truly a complete player,” Vavic said after Megens’ surreal performance. “She is just as good at getting assists and steals as picking up goals. She [also] will be the first to say that she can do better.”
Not to be overlooked, Mammolito also set new personal records in the match against Pacific. Picking up another 4 goals on the day, the sophomore driver made it 7 on the weekend and set a new career high in goals scored in a game. Beyond her excellent goal-scoring output, Mammolito provided a solid spark defensively for the Trojans.
“She is a more defensively oriented player but still is capable of delivering on offense,” Vavic said. “She can really be one of the best players in the nation.”
After all was said and done, the Trojans finished off the Tigers to the tune of a 19-3 margin. Pushing the team’s record to 16-1 and marking its sixth-consecutive win, the Women of Troy are playing as well as any squad in the country.
Moving forward, USC’s schedule will open up significantly as the team will go the better part of a month without back-to-back games. Their next match is at home at the Uytengsu Aquatics Center this Saturday against Hartwick College.