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No. 1 USC Women’s Water Polo Rises To Road Challenge, Overcomes Indiana 19-10

Apr 3, 2021

BLOOMINGTON, IND. - The No. 1 USC women's water polo team turned the tide on a tight first half and swamped host No. 15 Indiana 19-10 with an overwhelming second-half surge in Bloomington, Ind. The Trojans piled up 10 goals and gave up just two in the final 16 minutes of action to buckle in another win, which featured a career-high-tying five goals from Denise Mammolito. USC remains undefeated, now at 12-0 overall and 6-0 in MPSF play.

It was a true battle throughout the first half, as the score snarled up even seven times as both teams were wrangling for an a advantage. USC finally found some momentum with back-to-back goals to break a 7-7 lockup late in the second period. Bayley Weber found Mireia Guiral for a blast from the post to edge USC ahead 8-7. Twenty seconds later, Guiral found Denise Mammolito on the court, and the senior finished it off for her fourth goal of the half, taking USC ahead 9-7. In the final seconds, Indiana snuck in a score from distance, making it 9-8 at halftime. 

The tense first 16 minutes seemed to serve notice to the Trojans, who ended an early stalemate with a 6-on-5 strike from Grace Tehaney at 4:21. Verica Bakoc fed Kelsey McIntosh next, and USC had its largest lead with a three-goal advantage at 11-8. The Hoosiers fired back with a score from the post, but that would be all the Trojans would allow for the next nine minutes of play. In the meantime, USC made a six-goal scoring surge that spanned the third and fourth frames. Mammolito found her fifth of the day with a 5-meter penalty rocket, earned by Bayley Weber. Weber would follow with a counterattack slam, and Grace Tehaney tallied her second of the frame with a fake-and-fire that got USC ahead 15-9 by the end of the third. In the fourth, goalie Holly Parker, who stepped into the cage at halftime, knocked down a Hoosier 5-meter penalty try to keep USC chugging right along. Bakoc and Weber would follow with their third goals of the day, and although Indiana managed a 6-on-5 skipper to snap USC's run, the Trojans were not done. Claire Haas punched up her first goal of the season to make it 18-10, and then Sabrina Garabet laced one last goal in for the Trojan cause to round out the 19-10 Usc road win.

Next up for the Trojans is a return to home waters for a run of four straight MPSF matchups. Next weekend, USC hosts Stanford in a pair of 1 p.m. contests on Saturday (April 10) and Sunday (April 11) at Uytengsu Aquatics Center.

#1 USC 19, #15 Indiana 10
April 3, 2021 | Counsilman Billingsley Aquatic Center (Bloomington, Ind.)
USC   3 - 6 - 6 - 4 = 19
IU       3 - 5  - 1 - 1 = 10

USC — Denise Mammolito 5, Verica Bakoc 3, Bayley Weber 3, Mireia Guiral 2, Grace Tehaney 2, Sophia Lucas, Kelsey McIntosh, Claire Haas, Sabrina Garabet.
IU — Lanna Debow 3, Zoe Crouch 2, Izzy Mandema 2, Tina Doherty 2, Mary Askew.

SAVES: Carolyne Stern (USC) 3 [1st half], Holly Parker (USC) 4 [2nd half], Mary Askew (IU) 9.