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No. 1 USC Women’s Water Polo Finishes Second At Triton Invitational

Feb 13, 2022

LA JOLLA, CALIF. — The No. 1 USC women's water polo team made a strong stand at the Triton Invitational in working its way to the title match once again. After Grace Tehaney's five-goal explosion helped USC to a  9-7 win over No. 6 Hawai'i in the semifinals, the Trojans squared off against UCLA in the final. There, the Bruins benefited from a late power play to break open a tight game with an 11-10 final decision in UCLA's favor. USC is now 7-1 overall after taking its first loss of the year today.

As the Trojans turned to face the Bruins in the title match it was UCLA that had the early advantage, with USC working to tie it up at 1-1 and 2-2 on goals from Grace Tehaney and Honnie Vandeweghe-O'Shea. UCLA would work back ahead with back-to-back goals before Tehaney struck again, and USC was down 4-3 after eight minutes of action. The Trojans made a power move in the second when Tilly Kearns leveled it to spark a three-goal run that saw Bayley Weber bury two goals before UCLA got on the board to make it 6-5 Trojans by halftime. In the third, however, UCLA benefited from a couple USC exclusions to work back on top 7-6. Paige Hauschild equalized with a sweet shot, but the Bruins got another one to go and it was 8-7 UCLA entering the fourth. Down by two early in the fourth, USC battled back again with back-to-back goals from Kearns. UCLA would be awarded a 5-meter penalty shoot soon after, though, converting to go back ahead with 1:47 to go. Kearns earned one at the other end for the Trojans, and Weber buried it to snarl things up once more at 10-10 with 1:23 remaining. The Bruins would get another power play advantage in the final minute, finishing it off to edge ahead 11-10 with 23 ticks to go, and UCLA would hang on to win it with that scoreline.

In the semifinal bout against the Rainbow Wahine, USC took the early upper hand on back-to-back goals from Grace Tehaney. Tehaney's deft left hand would stay hot throughout, as she laced in five goals for the Trojan cause to tie her career high. Hawai'i would tie things up on a 5-meter penalty shot early in the third period, but Bayley Weber and Tehaney punched up goals next for USC to lift the Trojans ahead 7-5 entering the fourth. That pairing would help USC lead it 9-6, and only one more Wahine goal would get through as the Trojan emerged victorious 9-7. Goalie Carolyne Stern had the final word in that one, knocking down her 10th save of the game to cap off the semifinal win and set a new career high for herself with that 10-save effort. 


#1 USC 9, #6 Hawai'i 7
Feb. 13, 2022 | Canvyonview Aquatic Center (La Jolla, Calif.)
USC    3 - 2 - 2 - 2 = 9
UH        2 - 2 - 1 - 2 = 7

USC — Grace Tehaney 5, Bayley Weber 2, Tilly Kearns, Alejandra Aznar. 
UH — Elyse Lemay-Lavoie 3, Libby Gault 2, Jordan Wedderburn, Lucia Gomez De La Puente.

SAVES: Carolyne Stern (USC) 10, Hawai'i n/a.

#3 UCLA 11, #1 USC 10
Feb. 13, 2022 | Canvyonview Aquatic Center (La Jolla, Calif.)
USC    3 - 3 - 1 - 3 = 10
UCLA    4 - 1 - 3 - 3 = 11

USC — Tilly Kearns 3, Bayley Weber 3, Grace Tehaney 2, Honnie Vandeweghe-O'Shea, Paige Hauschild.
UCLA —Abbi Hill 3, Maddie Musselman 3, Val Ayala 2, Ava Johnson, Katrina Drake, Malia Allen.

SAVES: Carolyne Stern (USC) 7, Georgia Phillips (UCLA) 12.

- Grace Tehaney matched her career high with five goals scored vs. UC Santa Barbara.
- With her goal vs. UCLA today, Paige Hauschild moved up to rank No. 19 all-time at USC with 132 career goals.
- Carolyne Stern set a new career high with 10 saves vs. UC Santa Barbara today.

USC now turns to its first MPSF match of the season, hosting No. 2 California at 1 p.m. on Saturday (Feb. 19) in a televised game at Uytengsu Aquatics Center.