April 27, 2014
Los Angeles, Calif.----- For the second time this season, San Jose State University scored nine times against the University of Southern California in a women's water water polo match.
Despite being one of only three teams to score like that against the Trojans and the only one to do it twice so far in 2014, USC was relentless the entire way in a 21-9 victory in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) Tournament's fifth-place game.
When these teams met in regular-season conference play, USC overcame a two-goal first half deficit and eventually hung on for a 10-9 victory. This time, the Trojans (24-3) broke away from an early 2-2 first-quarter tie with six of the next seven scores in the match for a commanding 8-3 lead. San Jose State (20-13) never got closer than four goals the rest of the way.
USC took full advantage of its power play opportunities, scoring 10 of 12 times. San Jose State was effective on its power plays, too, going 4-of-9, but was pressured throughout in even-player situations by the Trojans. For the game, USC outshot the Spartans, 31-20.
"We were trying to run our offense, but they (USC) did a great job of making it difficult for us. They put a lot of pressure on us defensively and we didn't get a lot of quality shots," said San José State assistant coach Doug Robinson, who filled in for interim head coach Johnny Bega as he became a father for the first time. Bega was with his wife, Alexandra, in Northern California as they welcomed Keira Renée Bega into the world less than two hours after the match ended.
Cara Robinson and Victoria Smith led the Spartans in scoring with two goals each. Clara Espar Llaquet, Rachel Henry, Bianca Syefert, Paige Young and Kelli Leaboeach scored for San Jose State. The 2014 team finished the season as the highest scoring team in school history with 393 goals.
"We played hard the whole way and never gave up. USC had too much firepower. When they get on a roll like that, they are hard to stop," Robinson added.
USC's Monica Vavic was the game's high-scorer with four. Six other Trojans scored two or more times as USC, #3-ranked nationally, totaled 20 or more goals for the eighth time this season and recorded back-to-back games of 20 or more for the second time this season. The Trojans overwhelmed CSU Bakersfield, 22-3, to reach the fifth-place game against the #7-ranked San Jose State.
Katelynn Thompson and Maddie Reardoneach played a half for San Jose State in goal. Each goalkeeper was credited with three saves. USC's starting goalkeeper Flora Bolonyai played all but the last two minutes and was credited with seven of her nine saves in the first half.
The Spartans, who won at least 20 games in a season for the fourth time in school history, finished sixth in the MPSF Tournament for the second year in a row.
Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Women's Water Polo Tournament
Uytengsu Aquatics Center, Los Angeles, Calif.
April 27, 2014
|San Jose State (20-13)||3||2||2||2||9|
|Southern California (24-3)||7||4||4||6||21|
|San Jose State - Cara Robinson, Victoria Smith, 2, each; Clara Espar Llaquet, Rachel Henry, Bianca Seyfert, Paige Young, Kelli Leabo, 1, each.|
|USC - Monica Vavic, 4; Jayde Appel, Jennifer Stiefel, Kelly Mendoza, 3, each; Kaleigh Gilchrist, Colleen O'Donnell, Stephania Haralabidis, 2, each; Ioanna Haralabidis, Olivia Cummins, 1, each.|
|San Jose State - Katelynn Thompson, 3; Maddie Reardon, 3.|
|USC - Flora Bolonyai, 9; Alegra Hueso, 0.|
|San Jose State - 12.|
|USC - 9.|