No. 1 USC Women’s Water Polo Blasts Past No. 2 Stanford 12-8
LOS ANGELES — The No. 1 USC women's water polo team made a power move in the fourth frame to create extra space against visiting No. 2 Stanford, combining big defensive stops with big goals to turn a two-goal game into a decisive 12-8 Trojan victory over the Cardinal today at Uytengsu Aquatics Center. USC had trailed early before taking a lead before halftime and staying there en route to another MPSF win. The Trojans improve to 13-0 overall and 7-0 in MPSF play with the victory. The Trojans and Cardinal will do battle again tomorrow (April 11) at 1 p.m. in another MPSF matchup at USC.
The Cardinal struck first with a 5-meter penalty shot and soon after had USC in a 2-0 hole. Stepping up for the Trojan cause next was senior Sabina Garabet, who served up two nice goals to tie things up 2-2 by the end of the first period. The second was a wild one as teams traded scores through to a 5-5 lockup in the final minute. USC had gone up 5-4 on a shot to the upper V from Grace Tehaney midway through the second, but Stanford was awarded a 5-meter penalty shot — its second of the half — for a change to tie it. USC goalie Holly Parker squashed the Stanford attempt, only to see the Cardinal strike and equalize with 28 seconds left in the half. That turned out to be plenty of time for the Trojans to assert their authority again. Verica Bakoc hit Kelsey McIntosh for a go-ahead blast with 14 seconds left, and then Maud Megens rattled the back of the cage on a counterattack finish set up by Mireia Guiral to take the Trojans ahead 7-5 with just two seconds until halftime.
In the second half, Stanford got the opening goal, but USC fired right back. Denise Mammolito punched up her third goal of the day, and Bayley Weber added to the Trojan tally to make it 9-6 USC. The Cardinal would score on a 6-on-5 next, and USC was up 9-7 entering the fourth. There, Parker would fire up her crew with a booming block against a Stanford strike out of set — a stop that would spark a three-goal Trojan rally on the other end of the pool. Megens converted on Grace Tehaney feeds for two goals wrapped around a bar-in blast from Bakoc, and USC was duly in control with a 12-7 lead with 3:40 to play. Stanford managed a score before the final minute, and the Trojans would hold strong to finish out the 12-8 victory over the Cardinal.
With her hat trick today, senior Denise Mammolito took over at No. 12 all-time on USC's career scoring chart. The Trojans and Cardinal meet up again tomorrow (April 11) at 1 p.m. at Uytengsu Aquatics Center.
#1 USC 12, #2 Stanford 8
April 10, 2021 | Uytengsu Aquatics Center (Los Angeles, Calif.)
USC 2 - 5 - 2 - 3 = 12
STAN 2 - 3 - 2 -1 = 8
USC — Denise Mammolito 3, Maud Megens 3, Sabrina Garabet 2, Grace Tehaney, Kelsey McIntosh, Bayley Weber, Verica Bakoc.
STAN — Jewel Roemer 5, Katie Lyons 2, Chloe Harbilas.
SAVES: Holly Parker (USC) 6, Emalia Eichelberger (STAN) 5.