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Verica Bakoc Scores Seven To Carry No. 1 USC Women’s Water Polo To 12-9 Win At Cal

Mar 21, 2021

BERKELEY, CALIF. — The No. 1 USC women's water polo team created some space late in the game to beat No. 6 California 12-9 today in Berkeley in the second straight MPSF battle between the two teams. Verica Bakoc shouldered the scoring load for the Trojans, punching up a career-high seven goal — third most in a single game by a Trojan — to keep USC on track to victory. USC stays undefeated on the year with the win, going to 8-0 overall and to 2-0 in MPSF play.

A tight first half saw the score tied four times as Cal kept reeling in the Trojans, who led by two on a goal from Maud Megens to start the second before Cal crept right back. It was tangled up at 6-6 by halftime when the Bears converted on a 5-meter penalty shot. Cal took its first lead with a goal to open the second half, only to see the Trojans rattle off three straight scores. Bakoc knocked in two of those, with Kelsey McIntosh striking as well to move ahead 9-7. It was a one-goal game entering the fourth, prompting Bakoc to pour out three more goals for the Trojan cause while Cal managed just one as USC topped off a 12-9 win with Bakoc's seventh of the day.

Next up for the Trojans is an MPSF home stand against San José State next weekend. On Saturday (March 27), USC and the Spartans face off at 1 p.m., and on Sunday  (March 28) the two squads square off at 11 a.m. — all at USC's Uytengsu Aquatics Center.

#1 USC 12, #6 California 9
March 21, 2021 | Spieker Aquatics Complex (Berkeley, Calif.)
USC   4 - 2 - 3 - 3  = 12
CAL   3 - 3 - 2 - 1 = 9

USC — Verica Bakoc 7, Maud Megens, Grace Tehaney, Mireia Guiral, Bayley Weber, Kelsey McIntosh.
CAL — Brigit Mulder 4, Claire Sonne, Cecily Turner, Grace Raisin, Maryn Dempsey, Reagan Whitney.

SAVES: Carolyne Stern (USC) 9, Cassidy Ball (CAL) 11.