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No. 3 USC Men’s Water Polo Never Trails In 13-9 Win Over No. 7 UC Santa Barbara

Oct 31, 2021

LOS ANGELES - The No. 3 USC men's water polo team turned a one-goal game into a Trojan-controlled second half with another balanced effort at Uytengsu Aquatics Center, beating No. 7 UC Santa Barbara 13-9. Senior goalie Nic Porter collected 10 saves — his fourth consecutive outing with double-digit saves — while Hannes Daube and Jacob Mercep drummed up three goals apiece for the high-powered Trojans. USC improves to 15-1 overall with today's victory.

USC rattled in five goals in the first frame. Redshirt freshman Joshua Waldoch opened the Trojans' account with an early strike out of set, and although the Gauchos fired back, Hannes Daube issued a solo skipper to net a USC lead it would not relinquish. His second blast capped the scoring for the first period as he finished off a setup from Ashworth Molthen for a 6-on-5 blast that had USC up 5-2 after eight minutes. The hits kept coming for USC, with Molthen finding Max Miller for an impressive score. Porter made a big save next, and then Mercep hammered home another power play rocket to craft a 7-2 lead. The Gauchos would score the last three goals of the half, however, making it 7-5 by halftime. Another UCSB goal out of the gates of the second half made it a four-goal surge for the Gauchos to carve it back to a one-goal game at 7-6. 

Miller was the workhorse for USC next to provide a much-needed offensive spark, After earning the power play for the Trojans, he'd whip in another great goal to make it 8-6. A minute later, Wyatt Barker earned a 5-meter penalty that Marcus Longton sizzled through to give USC a lift to lead it 9-6 in the third. UCSB would get no closer than two goals the rest of the way, as USC had an answer for any Gaucho goal. Mercep, Molthen and Daube all fired off feisty finishes in the fourth en route to the 13-9 final decision for the Trojans.

NOTABLE:
- With 10 saves today, SR Nic Porter pulled into a tie at No. 6 all-time in career saves at USC (614).
- Porter now has recorded 32 outings with double-digit saves, including eight this season.
- Porter has recorded double-digit saves in his last four appearances.
- With his first of three goals today, SR Jacob Mercep took over at No. 4 all-time in career scoring at USC (now has 193 goals as a Trojan).
- With another goal today, JR Ashworth Molthen has scored in eight straight games.

NEXT:
USC's final game of the regular season brings rival UCLA to Uytengsu Aquatics Center for an MPSF matchup at 1 p.m. on Saturday (Nov. 6).

#3 USC 13, #7 UC Santa Barbara 9
Oct. 31, 2021 | Uytengsu Aquatics Center (Los Angeles, Calif.)
USC    5 - 2 - 2 - 4 = 13
UCSB  2 - 3 - 2 - 2 = 9

SCORING:
USC — Hannes Daube 3, Jacob Mercep 3, Max Miller 2, Joshua Waldoch, Wyatt Barker, Carson Kranz, Marcus Longton, Ashworth Molthen.
UCSB — Leo Yuno 4, Nathan Puentes, Cole Brosnan, Mason McQuet, James Oriskovich, Sam Nagle.

SAVES: Nic Porter (USC) 10, Danny Roland (UCSB) 8.