No. 1 USC Women’s Water Polo Celebrates Senior Day With Another Win
LOS ANGELES — The No. 1 USC women's water polo team hit the gas early in its Senior Day clash with No. 5 Arizona State, crafting a 3-0 lead to establish position and then remain in the driver's seat for a final 11-8 win today at Uytengsu Aquatics Center. It was the top-ranked Trojans' final game of the season at home, giving USC an opportunity to celebrate its star-studded class of eight departing Trojans — Verica Bakoc, Nina Ceklic, Kari Jensen, Denise Mammolito, Kelsey McIntosh, Maud Megens, Holly Parker and Randi Reinhardt. The win keeps USC perfect on the year, now at 16-0 overall and 10-0 in MPSF play.
In fitting fashion for Senior Day, the first blast of the day featured a pop pass from super senior Kelsey McIntosh to senior Verica Bakoc to ring up an early 1-0 lead for the Trojans. Grace Tehaney and Julia Janov would go back-to-back next, and USC was up 3-0 on the Sun Devils. ASU would respond by converting two 6-on-5 opportunities, and it was 3-2 after eight minutes of action. After a defensive battle to start the second, the Sun Devils would snarl it up with an equalizer from distance. The Trojans would respond in kind, drumming up a three-goal rally on blasts from Mireia Guiral and Janov before Guiral drew a 5-meter penalty shot for Maud Megens to hammer home to punch up a 6-3 lead for USC. ASU struck again, but McIntosh came through with a ripper to tug the Trojans ahead 7-4, and then Holly Parker hauled in a save to wrap up the first half.
The teams would stay in stride in the second half, with Guiral and Bakoc answering ASU scores in the third. Bayley Weber sizzled one in to get USC ahead 10-6 to open the fourth, and about a minute later Tehaney tallied her second to serve up USC's final goal in the eventual 11-8 Trojan victory.
USC will wrap the regular season next weekend in Westwood with 11 a.m. meetings with rival UCLA on Saturday (April 24) and Sunday (April 25) at Spieker Aquatics Center.
#1 USC 11, #5 Arizona State 8
April 18, 2021 | Uytengsu Aquatics Center (Los Angeles, Calif.)
USC 3 - 4 - 2 - 2 = 11
ASU 2 - 2 - 2 - 2 = 8
USC — Verica Bakoc 2, Grace Tehaney 2, Julia Janov 2, Mireia Guiral 2, Maud Megens, Kelsey McIntosh, Bayley Weber.
ASU — Amira Van Buren 4, Lara Kiss 2, Blaire McDowell, Abby Begg.
SAVES: Holly Parker (USC) 6, Chelsea Karimazondo (ASU) 8.