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USC Women’s Water Polo Takes Control In NCAA Quarterfinal, Beats Fresno State 15-9

May 6, 2022

ANN ARBOR, MICH. — The USC women's water polo team took quick control and stayed the course to win its NCAA Quarterfinal bout against Fresno State 15-9 today in Ann Arbor, Mich. The Trojans got hat tricks from Tilly Kearns and Paige Hauschild of the offensive end, while goalies Carolyne Stern and Erin Tharp combined forces for 13 saves to back up the USC cause. The win pushed the Trojans (19-3) closer to defense of their 2021 national championship, as the Trojans move into tomorrow's semifinal game out at the 2022 National Collegiate Championship.

Tilly Kearns would dominate out of two meters early, firing off back-to-back blasts to take a quick 2-0 lead in the first minute of action. Paige Hauschild sizzled one in next, and then freshman Honnie Vandeweghe-O'Shea displayed her skill in her first NCAA appearance with a shot to the upper-90 to take USC ahead 4-0. Fresno State would break its silence with a 6-on-5 conversion, then sneaked in a skipper in the final minute to make it 4-2. Sophomore Julia Janov had the last word of the frame, however, sending a laser cross cage to get USC ahead 5-2 just before the close of the first.

USC would expand its advantage in the second, sparked by a savvy crosscage bar-in lob from Alejandra Aznar. Kearns would deliver her third next to make it 7-2 Trojans, although the Bulldogs pulled it back to 7-4 with back-to-back scores. Hauschild went to work in the final minute, though, earning and finishing off a USC power play, and the Trojans were up 8-4 for halftime.

In the third, it was Mireia Guiral's time to shine, as she converted on two setups from Grace Tehaney for impressive strikes that had USC up 10-5. Fresno State found a couple more goals, but Hauschild's third laid in wait, while Vandeweghe-O'Shea pumped in her second to get USC ahead 12-7 entering the fourth. As Erin Tharp took over the cage from Stern in the fourth, USC remained in control. Tehaney tallied her first on a slick slider, and later it was Aznar scoring her second before senior Claire Haas got herself on the scoresheet with a rocket out of set on the way to a final 15-9 USC victory.

The Trojans will face either host Michigan or No. 3 seed California in the NCAA semifinal. That one will take place at 5 p.m. ET tomorrow (May 7) at Canham Natatorium. Winners of the 2021 championship, USC is looking to repeat as champions for the first time in program history.

2022 NATIONAL COLLEGIATE WOMEN'S WATER POLO CHAMPIONSHIP

QUARTERFINAL
[2] USC 15, Fresno State 9
May 6, 2022 | Canham Natatorium (Ann Arbor, Mich.)
USC    5 - 3 - 4 - 3 = 15
FST     2 - 2 - 3 - 2 = 9

SCORING:
USC — Tilly Kearns 3, Paige Hauschild 3, Honnie Vandeweghe-O'Shea 2, Alejandra Aznar 2, Mireia Guiral 2, Julia Janov, Grace Tehaney, Claire Haas.
FST — Fanni Muzsnay 2, Savanna Fitzgerald 2, Jillian Schultz 2, Shelby Vidmar, Emily Nicholson, Sienna Jagielski.

SAVES: Carolyne Stern (USC) 9  [3 periods], Erin Tharp (USC) 4 [4th period], Paula Nieto Jasny (FST) 10.