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Tilly Kearns Sticks Six In No. 3 USC Women’s Water Polo’s 18-5 Win Over No. 13 San José State

Apr 3, 2022

SAN JOSÉ, CALIF. — The No. 3 USC women's water polo team hit the throttle for a 13-goal scoring surge that put host No. 13 San José State out of reach in a final 18-5 Trojan victory today at West Valley College Aquatics Center. Tilly Kearns set a new career high with six goals, and Bayley Weber added four for the Trojan cause to help make it a winning weekend for USC. The Trojans improve to 15-2 overall and to 4-0 in MPSF play after also collecting  a 10-8 win at No. 1 Stanford over the weekend.

The game with the Spartans was a sticky one early, as San José State equalized early and was within one midway through the second period. With the Spartans knocking, USC turned a 5-4 margin into an 18-4 lead by  the fourth quarter as the Trojans scored 13 consecutive goals while shutting out San José State in the entire third period. Goalie Erin Tharp went the distance in the cage for the Trojans, making six saves including a stop against a first-period SJSU 5-meter penalty shot. 

Kearns and Weber accounted for USC's first six goals, with Kearns' fourth goal lighting the fuse on that 13-goal USC scoring onslaught that stretched into the fourth. Paige Hauschild added a counterattack blast in the final minute of the first half, and Weber delivered her third after Grace Tehaney came up with an interception to feed Weber's counter and make it 8-4 USC for halftime.

In the third, while the Trojan defense held the Spartans silent, Mireia Guiral and Julia Janov joined the scoresheet, while Kearns notched a new career high with two more goals around Weber's fourth to lift USC ahead 13-4 entering the fourth. There, Tehaney sliced in her first score, and Guiral added another. Then it was USC's freshmen's turn to strike. Honnie Vandeweghe-O'Shea wrapped two goals around a superb shot from Isabel Zimmerman to round out USC's 13-0 rally. The Spartans broke their silence with a 6-on-5 finish with 2:51 to go, and USC was well on its way to its final 18-5 victory.

Next up for the Trojans is another MPSF road trip next weekend, as USC visits Arizona State for a 1 p.m. clash on Saturday (April 9) in Tempe.

#3 USC 18, #13 San José State 5
April 3, 2022 | West Valley College Aquatics Center (San José, Calif.)
USC    4 - 4 - 5 - 5 = 18
SJSU    2 - 2 - 0 - 1  = 5

USC — Tilly Kearns 6, Bayley Weber 4, Mireia Guiral 2, Honnie Vandeweghe-O'Shea 2, Paige Hauschild, Julia Janov, Grace Tehaney, Isabel Zimmerman.
SJSU — Cila David 3, Clarissa Wandinger 2.

SAVES: Erin Tharp (USC) 6, Hannah Henry (SJSU) 3, Elaina Davey (SJSU) 7.