March 29, 2014
San Jose, Calif. --- #8-San José State pushed #1-USC to the brink with a late comeback before falling short, 10-9, at the Aquatics Center Saturday afternoon.
"Those last few minutes were exciting," said Spartans' interim head coach Johnny Bega. "I knew if we could keep them in that 10-goal range then we would have a chance. They left it all in the water today."
San José State held the Trojans scoreless for a near eight-minute span during the third and fourth periods. Meanwhile, the Spartans converted three consecutive goals.
Rae Lekness' second goal of the match cut USC's lead to 9-8 with 1:35 left in regulation. The Trojans' scoring drought ended when Stephania Haralabidis scored with 1:17 left to make it 10-8.
Clara Espar Llaquet gave the Spartans some last-second hope when she scored her third goal of the match to make it 10-9 with 14 seconds remaining. USC ran out the clock and kept its perfect season intact despite allowing a season-high nine goals to San José State.
"I anticipated a physical match out there," Bega said. "We were right there by one goal, and I expected that. We play well at home and they put so much pride and heart in this one."
Espar Llaquet put San José State up 4-1 early in the second period with her 86th goal of the year, tying the single-season record set by Adriana Vogt in 2011. Espar Llaquet eclipsed the record with two more goals and now owns the record with 88 goals.
Southern California outscored the Spartans 8-3 in the middle two periods. Colleen O'Donnell scored three times to lead the Trojans.
Goalkeeper Katelynn Thompson saved eight shots for San Jose State. Flora Bolonyai stopped 10 in the match for USC.
The next match is the final home contest of the 2014 season. It will be Senior Day against #5-Arizona State on Sunday, April 6 at noon.
|Score by Quarters||1||2||3||4||Total|
|#1-USC (20-0, 4-0 MPSF)
|#8-San José State (18-10, 0-3 MPSF)
|USC - Colleen O'Donnell, 3; Kelly Mendoza, 2; Stephania Haralabidis, 2; Ioanna Haralabidis, Madeline Rosenthal, Monica Vavic, 1, each.|
|San José State - Clara Espar Llaquet, 3; Rachel Henry, Rae Lekness, 2, each; Alisa Argend, Cara Robinson, 1, each.|
|USC - Flora Bolonyai - 10.|
|San José State - Katelynn Thompson - 8.|
|USC - 5.|
|San José State - 7.|