USC stays undefeated after weekend meetings

Sophomore 2-meter Hannah Meyer throws the ball during USC’s match against Occidental.

Sophomore 2-meter Hannah Meyer throws the ball during USC’s match against Occidental. (Nayeon Ryu | Daily Trojan)

After defeating Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and Occidental, women’s water polo remained undefeated this weekend. USC staved off a late comeback against No. 8 Fresno State, winning 15-11, before stomping No. 11 San José State 20-3 at the UCLA Mini Invite.

The Trojans began the game in strong fashion. Senior utility Bayley Weber and redshirt sophomore 2-meter Tilly Kearns each scored 2 goals in the first half. Whenever Fresno State scored, USC would retake full control of the game. 

USC emphasized full control at the end of the third quarter when Weber wrestled the ball away from a Bulldog, sprinted down the right side of the pool and muscled through another defender before flipping the ball past the goalie. The Trojans entered the final six minutes with a 13-5 advantage.

But a quick Fresno State barrage cut the lead down to 5 goals and sucked all the life out of the USC team. 

“Especially in the last quarter, we gave up way too many exclusions,” Head Coach Marko Pintaric said. “I’m really not happy with the way the defense looked, and hopefully, they will improve throughout the week and the season.”

At one point, the Bulldogs pulled within four, but senior 2-meter Mireia Guiral put away the game with over a minute left. The Trojans walked away with a 15-11 victory but left some points on the board — 11 of their 35 shots hit the framework. 

Some may say it was an off day, but Pintaric doesn’t want anything to do with excuses.

“Offensively, we had a lot of missed shots, high-percentage shots, and we created really good opportunities overall,” Pintaric said. “[But] there’s no luck in sports. I don’t believe in that. I think you