No. 2 USC Men’s Water Polo Trips Up In MPSF Semifinals With 6-5 Loss To No. 3 UCLA
STANFORD, CALIF. — The No. 2 USC men's water polo team had to play catchup in today's MPSF semifinal bout with No. 3 UCLA and came up short of forcing overtime with a 6-5 loss to the Bruins at Stanford's Avery Aquatic Center. The Trojans will now vie for third place with a rubber match against top-ranked California at 1 p.m. tomorrow (Nov. 21). USC is now 16-2 overall with today's defeat at the hands of UCLA.
With 12 saves in the game today, senior goalie Nic Porter was a bright spot again for the Trojans, tallying his sixth consecutive double-digit save outing and moving into a tie at No. 4 all-time in career saves at USC, now with 638 stops as a Trojan.
USC never led in this one, but forced three tie-ups in the first frame as the Trojans and Bruins traded goals in the first eight minutes. Marcus Longton and Alexander Lansill drummed up equalizers to make it 1-1 and 2-2, respectively, and then Hannes Daube buried a 5-meter penalty shot with 14 second left in the first to make it 3-3. In the second, UCLA manufactured back-to-back goals to sneak ahead 5-3 before USC broke through and got one back with a blast from Wyatt Marker. UCLA would be awarded its second penalty shot of the game minutes later, and the Bruins converted to go up 6-4 for halftime.
In the second half, a defensive stalemate ensued. USC was the only one to tally a goal in the half, with Barker delivering again for the Trojans to get back within one, down 6-5 with 1:36 remaining in the third. In the fourth, however, USC was unable to find an equalizer. With help from goalie Porter, the Trojan defense shut out the Bruins in the last 16 minutes, although the offensive spark would evade the Trojans in the final stretch for a 6-5 loss.
- SR Nic Porter recorded his sixth straight game with double-digit saves — 10th overall this season and 34th as a Trojan.
- Porter also moved up to tie at No. 4 all-time with Richard McEvoy for career saves, now with 638
USC faces Cal tomorrow (Nov. 21) in the MPSF third-place game at 1 p.m. at Stanford's Avery Aquatic Center.
 UCLA 6,  USC 5
Nov. 20, 2021 | Avery Aquatic Center (Stanford, Calif.)
USC 3 - 1 - 1 - 0 = 5
UCLA 3 - 3 - 0 - 0 = 6
USC — Wyatt Barker 2, Marcus Longton, Alexander Lansill, Hannes Daube.
UCLA — Nicolas Saveljic 3, Tommy Gruwell, Chase Dodd, Gianpiero Di Martire.
SAVES: Nic Porter (USC) 12, Bernardo Maurizi (UCLA) 7.