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Undefeated No. 1 USC Men’s Water Polo Tames Tigers 16-9

Oct 2, 2021

LOS ANGELES — The No. 1 USC men's water polo team never trailed today, surging in the first and third periods of play to power up for a 16-9 win over visiting No. 6 Pacific at Uytengsu Aquatics Center. Ten Trojans had scored by the close of the third, with Hannes Daube and Wyatt Barker both holding hat tricks on the day. The win keeps USC rolling along undefeated, now with an 11-0 overall record.

Two emphatic Trojan goals early in the first set the tone, although Pacific would get on the board with a 5-meter penalty shot. USC responded with a three-goal rally to create some space, and then a late strike from Ashworth Molthen took the Trojans to a 6-2 advantage by the end of the first. Pacific mustered back-to-back goals to open the second, but that two-goal margin would be as close as the Tigers would get. Goals from Carson Kranz  and Jake Ehrhardt bookended a massive 5-meter penalty stop by goalie Nic Porter, and USC was in the driver's seat with a four-goal lead. A Porter-assisted counter strike from Max Miller made it a 9-5 USC lead by halftime.

In the third, USC tallied four straight goals in the final 2:15 of the frame. That included the first of the day for Jacob Mercep and the first of his career for Luke Brnetic, as USC was up 15-7 entering the fourth. Porter hauled in three more saves in the fourth in spite of numerous Pacific 6-on-5 opportunities. He'd finish with nine saves on the day, and USC wrapped up its 11th win of 2021 with the 16-9 final victory.

USC stays home next week to host its first MPSF matchup of the season, taking on No. 2 California at 12 p.m. on Saturday (Oct. 9) at Uytengsu Aquatics Center.

- FR Luka Brnetic played his first game as Trojan and recorded the first goal of his USC career.
- RS JR Hannes Daube's three goals today marks his fifth straight game with multiple goals scored.
- GS Wyatt Barker scored his second hat trick of the season today.  Barker is a second-year grad transfer from Pacific, having joined the Trojans in 2020.
- USC's win over Pacific today avenges two losses taken to the Tigers in the 2019 season.

#1 USC 16, #6 Pacific 9
Oct. 2, 2021 | Uytengsu Aquatics Center (Los Angeles, Calif.)
USC  6 - 3 - 6 - 1 = 16
PAC  2 - 3 - 2 - 2 = 9

USC — Wyatt Barker 3, Hannes Daube 3, Ashworth Molthen 2, Carson Kranz 2, Chris Agliozzo, Alexander Lansill, Jake Ehrhardt, Max Miller, Luka Brnetic, Jacob Mercep.
PAC — Jeremie Cote 4, Djordje Stanic 4, Nathaniel Eidsness.

SAVES: Nic Porter (USC) 9, John Hedges (PAC) 6.