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No. 5 USC Men’s Water Polo Overpowers No. 9 Pepperdine 13-11 In Malibu

Oct 22, 2022

MALIBU, CALIF. — The No. 5 USC men's water polo team made its move in the second half of action to beat host No. 9 Pepperdine 13-11 today in Malibu. The Trojans and Waves traded the lead in the first quarter, with USC eking ahead by one for halftime before Jake Ehrhardt helped key the Trojans' power move to secure the USC road win. With four goals today, Ehrhardt cracked the career top-10 scoring ladder at USC, now ranked No. 10 all-time. USC improved to 14-5 overall with the victory.

It was an offensive explosion right out of the gates, with a high-powered first frame seeing 11 total goals scored. USC struck first on an Ehrhardt blast, but the Waves pushed into an early lead. Down 4-3, USC manufactured back-to-back goals from Marcus Longton and Ashworth Molthen to nudge ahead 5-4, and the Trojans would never trail the rest of the way. The game would, however, see three more ties in the first half. After a 7-7 snarl, USC goalie Kyle McKenney made two key saves to help send USC the other way. Ehrhardt again came through, taking the Trojans ahead 8-7 for halftime. 

The scoring paced cooled a bit in the third, with defense holding strong until Jake Carter found Tony Nardelli for a fine finish at two-meter to get USC a two-goal lead with 2:27 on the clock. Pepperdine struck right back, but again Ehrhardt would rise to the occasion, taking a feed from Longton and hammering it home for his third and a 10-8 USC advantage to close the third. Ehrhardt's fourth — and 159th career goal — came in that final frame, where Longton and Carson Kranz were each the beneficiaries of setup passes from Molthen to ring up back-to-back goals for USC to go up 13-10. Pepperdine got a late 5-meter penalty shot to sneak through, and that would wrap things as a 13-11 USC victory.

NEXT:
USC returns home for a key MPSF clash against visiting Stanford next week, hosting the Cardinal at 12 p.m. on Sunday (Oct. 30).

NOTABLE:
- With four goals today, Jake Ehrhardt now holds 159 career goals — ranking him No. 10 all-time at USC.
- Carson Kranz match his career high of three goals today.
- With two goals today, Marcus Longton has now scored in a team-best 18 games this season.
- Ashworth Molthen recorded a game-high six assists today.

#5 USC 13, #9 Pepperdine 11
Oct. 22, 2022 | Raleigh Runnels Memorial Pool (Malibu, Calif.)
USC   6 - 2 - 2 - 3  = 13
PEP   5 -  2 - 1 - 3 = 11

SCORING:
USC —  Jake Ehrhardt  4, Carson Kranz 3, Marcus Longton 2, Jake Carter, Ashworth Molthen, Luka Brnetic, Tony Nardelli.
PEP — Matty Walsh 2, Sandor Gal 2, Dennis Blyashov 2, Adam Csapo 2, Nico Tierney, Christian Hosea, Austin Smit.

SAVES: Kyle McKenney (USC) 5, Justin Edward (PEP) 5, Spencer Tybur (PEP) 1, Zach Cwiertnia (PEP) 7.