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USC’s Hannes Daube Scores Four In NCAA Men’s Water Polo Semifinals, Beating UC Davis 11-8

Dec 4, 2021

WESTWOOD, CALIF. — The top-seeded USC men's water polo team has secured a trip to the NCAA title match for the 16th time in the last 17 seasons after posting an 11-8 victory over UC Davis in today's semifinals at Spieker Aquatics Center. Hannes Daube delivered a season-high four goals today for the Trojans, who kept the Aggies at bay after powering up early. USC will take an 18-2 record into the NCAA final, where the Trojans are in search of an 11th national championship. The Trojans last won it all in 2018.

The Trojans established their position in the first frame by turning a one-goal margin into a three-goal advantage by the end of the period. Jake Ehrhardt kicked things off for USC by wrapping goals around a single early strike from the Aggies. Up 2-1, USC saw Wyatt Barker hammer home is first of the day, although UC Davis got one back two minutes later. But a 6-on-5 finish from Marcus Longton gave USC a lift to lead it 4-2, and then Nic Porter came up big with a stop against an Aggie power play. In the late stages of the first, Ashworth Molthen earned a 5-meter penalty shot that was deposited with authority by Hannes Daube to get USC ahead 5-2. 

In the next three periods, the Trojans and Aggies stayed largely in stride, with USC maneuvering out to its largest lead on a Daube blast midway through the second to go up 6-2. UC Davis responded, only to see Barker rip in his second soon after. A late goal from the Aggies had it at 7-4 at halftime, and the trend continued in the third. USC went up by four twice more on two more goals from Daube, with UC Davis answering each, capped by a last-second 5-meter penalty shot that brought the score to 9-6 entering the fourth. There, the Aggies broke stride and scored first to make it a two-goal margin, but it was Jacob Mercep who buried two Trojan goals to match the Aggies' output to keep USC on a path to victory. USC's 11-8 win propels the Trojans to their 24th appearance in an NCAA final, facing Cal at 2 p.m. tomorrow (Dec. 5).

- USC is in the NCAA Tournament for the 17th consecutive season.
- USC has now reached 24 NCAA finals in program history.
- RS JR Hannes Daube scored a season-high four goals today.
- Daube has now scored in 18 of USC's 20 games this season.
- With 11 saves today, SR Nic Porter recorded his eighth straight game with double-digit saves — 12th overall this season and 36th as a Trojan.
- UC Davis is coached by former Trojan player and assistant coach Daniel Leyson. It was the first NCAA Tournament meeting between USC and UC Davis.

USC plays for the 2021 national championship against Cal at 2 p.m. tomorrow (Dec. 5) at UCLA's Spieker Aquatics Center.

[1] USC 11, UC Davis 8
Dec. 4, 2021 | Spieker Aquatics Center (Westwood, Calif.)
USC  5 - 2 - 2 - 2 = 11
UCD  2 - 2 - 2 - 2  = 8

USC — Hannes Daube 4, Jake Ehrhardt 2, Wyatt Barker 2, Jacob Mercep 2, Marcus Longton.
UCD —Ben Fleming 2, Logan Anderson 2, Spencer Towill, Nir Gross, Levi Murtaugh, Michael Plastino.

SAVES: Nic Porter (USC) 11, Aaron Wilson (UCD) 12.