Women’s water polo dominates weekend doubleheader

The No. 2 women’s water polo team continued its hot start to the 2017 season by posting a pair of convincing wins over Concordia University and Whittier College at the CBU Mini Invitational over the weekend.

The Trojans (7-0) traveled out to the Inland Empire for Saturday’s doubleheader and made sure to bring their firepower with them, outscoring both opponents by a whopping 50-5 combined margin. When it was all said and done, 15 different players found the back of the net for USC, with seven of those players recording hat tricks. The team was led by the reigning MPSF Player of the Week, senior driver Stephania Haralabidis, who scored eight goals across the two games. The pair of victories also bumped USC’s winning streak to 34 games in a row, dating back to the 2015 postseason.

In the first game of the tournament, USC took on the Concordia Eagles (1-1) and raced out to an 11-1 lead by the end of the opening period. Twelve different Trojans scored in the game, and 17 unanswered goals the rest of the way helped secure the 28-1 victory. USC was led by four goals apiece from freshman utility Maud Megens and senior driver Ioanna Haralabidis, while freshman driver Elise Stein and senior All-Americans Brigitta Games and Stephania Haralabidis added hat tricks. In just three periods of work, sophomore goalkeeper Amanda Longan recorded 12 saves, while freshman Holly Parker came in the fourth frame and logged two saves.

The Trojans remained in the pool to square off against the Division III Whittier Poets (0-2). It was more of the same offensive onslaught for USC, as the Trojans poured in 11 straight goals and held Whittier scoreless in the first half en route to the 22-4 victory. Junior goalkeeper Victória Chamorro recorded five saves in three periods, while Parker once again came on in relief in the fourth quarter to tally one save.

Stephania Haralabidis had the hot hand and chipped in a game-high five goals, followed by Games’ four goals and freshman driver Denise Mammolito’s hat trick. Two more freshmen drivers would get in on the action as well, as Alaina Cousineau scored her first-ever pair of goals in Cardinal and Gold against the Poets, while Sawyer Belville added another goal to close out the win.

The reigning national champions remain undefeated heading into their home opener against No. 15 San Diego State (1-1) this Friday at the Uytengsu Aquatics Center. The Trojans’ match against the Aztecs will begin at 5 p.m.