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No. 1 USC Women’s Water Polo Dominates No. 9 Gauchos 21-3

Mar 13, 2021

LOS ANGELES — The No. 1 USC women's water polo team was a force to reckon with in its second home game of the season, balancing an offensive onslaught with stingy defense to overpower visiting No. 9 UC Santa Barbara 21-3 today at  Uytengsu Aquatics Center. Led by Mireia Guiral's four-goal outburst, four other Trojans registered hat tricks on the day while the Trojan defense clamped down on the Gauchos. USC improves to 6-0 overall with the win.

Four different scorers accounted for USC's first four goals of the day before UC Santa Barbara broke through in the first. The final word of the frame came from Denise Mammolito, who ripped in her second goal to lift USC ahead 5-1 after eight minutes of action. The second was a similar story, with USC piling on five straight goals — including a pair from Verica Bakoc — to go up 10-1. The Gauchos got one to go before halftime, and the Trojans gripped a hefty 10-2 lead at the break. 

The third period saw all-out domination by the Trojans. With goalie Holly Parker as the defensive anchor, USC allowed no Gaucho goals in the third. Meanwhile, USC tallied eight goals of its own as Grace Tehaney, Mireia Guiral and Bakoc all had their hat tricks in-hand by the close of the frame. A sizzling backhand from Guiral registered her fourth of the day and took the Trojans ahead 17-2. With a minute left in the third, Tehaney hit Bayley Weber at the post for a tip-in that had USC up 18-2 entering the fourth. USC freshmen Julia Janov and Abigail Hendrix both had firsts in that final stretch, with Janov scoring twice to notch her first hat trick as a Trojan, and Hendrix knocking in her first career goal at USC. Goalie Erin Tharp checked into the cage for the fourth, hauling in four saves while giving up just a single Gaucho goal as the Trojans rounded out the 21-3 victory.

Next up for USC is an MPSF trip to Berkeley next week. The Trojans will visit California for two games in two days. USC and Cal will tangle at 1 p.m. on both Saturday (March 20) and Sunday (March 21) in Berkeley.

#1 USC 21, #9 UC Santa Barbara 3
March 13, 2021 | Uytengsu Aquatics Center (Los Angeles, Calif.)
USC    5 - 5  - 8 -  3 =  21
UCSB  1 - 1 - 0  - 1 = 3

USC — Mireia Guiral 4, Denise Mammolito 3, Grace Tehaney 3, Verica Bakoc 3, Julia Janov 3, Kelsey McIntosh, Sabrina Garabet, Maud Megens, Bayley Weber, Abigail Hendrix.
UCSB — Leigh Lyter 2, Amanda Legaspi.

SAVES: Holly Parker (USC) 6 [3 periods], Erin Tharp (USC) 4  [4th period], Madison Button (UCSB) 1 [3 periods], Lauren Schmidt (UCSB) 2 [4th period].