No. 1 USC Women’s Water Polo Dominates No. 3 UCLA 14-9 For 13th Straight Win

Courtesy: USC Athletics

WESTWOOD, CALIF. — A first-half hat trick from Paige Hauschild helped propel the No. 1 USC women’s water polo team into control of its crosstown rivalry clash against No. 3 UCLA, as Hauschild tallied three straight goals to break a tie and get her Trojans on course to a resounding 14-9 win over the host Bruins. In winning the battle in Westwood, USC put an exclamation point on a 13th consecutive win that also secured the Trojans as the undisputed top seed in the MPSF Tournament with their 25-1 overall record and perfect 6-0 finish to the conference regular season.

USC never trailed in the rivalry clash, taking a quick opening lead as Hauschild fed Tilly Kearns for her first of a final five goals on the day. The Bruins would pull even at 1-1 and at 2-2 before Hauschild took matters into her own hands, plugging in three straight Trojan goals to build a 5-2 USC lead early in the second period of play. USC would stay the course from there, answering a nearside strike from UCLA with a 6-on-5 missile from Julia Janov and a Grace Tehaney fake-and-fire that had the Trojans on top 7-3 for halftime. Bayley Weber knocked down her third field block of the half to add another statement from the USC defense going into the next 16 minutes.

The teams stayed largely in stride in the third. The Bruins got to within three on two occasions, but Kearns had a response both time, ripping her third of the day in the final minute of the third to make it 10-6 Trojans entering the fourth. There, UCLA would convert on a couple 7-on-6 offensive setups to carve a bit off of what grew to be a six-goal USC lead with 3:35 to go. A 13-9, USC’s defense dug back in, and the Trojan offense delivered one more big strike when Mireia Guiral earned a power play that saw Weber find fellow super senior Tehaney for a laser that lifted USC to a 14-9 advantage with 10 ticks to go.

USC now turns to competition as the top seed at the MPSF Tournament, which runs April 28-30 in San José, Calif. The Trojans will have a first-round bye and move directly to a 2:30 p.m. semifinal on Saturday (April 29) to fight for a spot in Sunday’s 2:30 p.m. title match.

– Tilly Kearns’ five goals today marked her season high and gives her 55 goals scored this year.
– Kearns is now even with Bayley Weber in scoring in a team-high 22 goals this year.
– Weber tallied four field blocks and two steals today on the defensive end
– With her three goals today, Grace Tehaney extended her scoring streak to nine straight games with at least one goal.
– Tehaney has now scored multiple goals in USC’s last four games
– Along with her three goals today, Paige Hauschild delivered six assists.

#1 USC 14, #3 UCLA 9
April 22, 2023 | Spieker Aquatics Center (Los Angeles, Calif.)
USC    3 – 4 – 3 – 4 = 14
UCLA  2 – 1 – 3 – 3 = 9

USC — Tilly Kearns 5, Paige Hauschild 3, Grace Tehaney 3, Julia Janov 2, Honnie Vandeweghe-O’Shea.
UCLA — Katrina Drake 3, Anna Pearson 2, Emma Lineback, Sienna Green, Malia Allen, Taylor Smith.

SAVES: Carolyne Stern (USC) 4, Georgia Phillips (UCLA) 10.

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