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No. 2 USC Men’s Water Polo Punches Up Two More Powerful Wins For 4-0 Start to 2021

Sep 12, 2021

CLAREMONT, CALIF.  — The No. 2 USC men's water polo team drummed up a victorious doubleheader today, making it three wins in under 24 hours for the Trojans. Following yesterday afternoon's home victory over Pepperdine, USC hit the road for Claremont this morning to take on Occidental and host Claremont-Mudd-Scripps out at the Inland Empire Classic. By the time the Trojans rolled back to Los Angeles, 17  different players had scored goals and four USC goalies had capped up in the cage across the two wins today. USC beat Oxy 23-3 and CMS 16-5 to bump the Trojans' 2021 record to an early 4-0.

The morning's first matchup against Occidental featured hat tricks from senior Jacob Mercep and freshman Aidan Wattson as well as the USC debut for grad transfer goalie Kyle McKenney., who spelled Blake Jackson in the final frame. McKenney made six saves and gave up no goals in his eight minutes of action while USC poured out seven goals on the offensive end to help cap that 23-3 win over the Tigers. In all, 13 different Trojans scored in the victory, including redshirt freshman Joshua Waldoch's first career tallies as a Trojan with his two-goal effort.

An hour or so later, USC splashed back down for more action in Claremont, taking on the host Stags. Along the way to a 16-5 win, 10 Trojans scored. For the fourth time in USC's four official games, Mercep and Marcus Longton had multi-goal outings. Longton notched a hat trick, while Mercep was one of four Trojans with two goals. At the defensive end, senior goalie Nic Porter gave way to redshirt sophomore Garrett Allen in the second half, where Allen saw his first minutes as a Trojan and collected five saves in his debut.

USC has more road action ahead with a journey to the Aggie Roundup, hosted by UC Davis, next weekend (Sept. 17-18).

NOTABLES:
- RS SR Jacob Mercep climbed to No. 7 all-time in career scoring at USC with his five goals scored today, now with 165 career goals as a Trojan.
- RS FR Joshua Waldoch is the first USC first-year player this year to tally back-to-back multiple-goal games.
- FR Aidan Wattson's hat trick vs. Occidental was the first by a USC true freshman this year.
- Grad transfer goalie Kyle McKenney made his first appearance as a Trojan today, with six saves and no goals allowed in the fourth period vs. Occidental.
- RS SO goalie Garrett Allen made his USC debut today, making five saves in the second half vs. CMS.

NEXT:
AGGIE ROUNDUP (Davis, Calif.)
Fri., Sept. 17 — vs. San José State — 1 p.m.
Sat., Sept. 18 — vs. Santa Clara — 11:30 a.m.
Sat., Sept. 18 — at  UC Davis — 4 p.m.

INLAND EMPIRE CLASSIC (Axelrood Aquatics Center | Claremont, Calif.)
#2 USC 23, Occidental 3
Sept. 12, 2021 | Claremont, Calif.
USC  4 - 4  - 8  - 7 =  23
OXY  0 - 2 -  1 - 0 = 3
SCORING:
USC — Jacob Mercep 3, Aidan Wattson 3, Chris Sturtevant 2, Carson Kranz 2, Jake Ehrhardt 2, Marcus Longton 2, Max Miller 2, Joshua Waldoch 2, Jake Carter, Hannes Daube, James Kolenda, Tony Nardelli, Grayden Reynolds. 
OXY — D. Cruz, N. Fisher, K. Klein.
SAVES: Blake Jackson (USC) 7 [3 periods], Kyle McKenney (USC) 6 [4th period], Henry Grady (OXY) 9.

#2 USC 16, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 5
Sept. 12, 2021 | Claremont, Calif.
USC  5 - 4 - 6 - 1 = 16
CMS  0 - 2 - 1 - 2 = 5
SCORING:
USC — Marcus Longton 3, Jacob Mercep 2, Joshua Waldoch 2, Chris Agliozzo 2, James Kolenda 2, Chris Sturtevant, Wyatt Barker, Tom McGuire, Alexander Lansill, Carson Kranz.
CMS — C. Thornton 2, K .Ballack, L. Korol, A. Wraith.
SAVES: Nic Porter (USC) 8 [1st half], Garrett Allen (USC) 5 [2nd half], Noah Smith (CMS) 1, Aiden Nettekoven (CMS) 6.