No. 3 USC Men’s Water Polo Beats Two Visitors In Doubleheader At Uytengsu

by SwimSwam 0

September 18th, 2023 NCAA/College Water Polo, Water Polo

Courtesy: USC Athletics

LOS ANGELES, CALIF. — The No. 3 USC men’s water polo team was in a winning groove today in a double day of action at Uytengsu Aquatics Center, taking down No. 11 UC Santa Barbara 16-8 before posting a 13-8 comeback win in an exhibition meeting with Golden West. Now 6-1 overall on the year, the Trojans saw 11 players score against the Gauchos and 12 strike against the Rustlers.

Luka Brnetic had a career-high three goals in place after just eight minutes of action to set the tone in USC’s win over UC Santa Barbara. The Trojans led it 5-1 to that point, with Tom McGuire and Tony Nardelli joining the offensive action. Meanwhile, the USC defense stymied the Gauchos for almost 14 full minutes across the first two frames while the Trojans built out an 8-1 lead. Joshua WaldochAndrej Grgurevic and Carson Kranz each got to the back of the net in the second before UCSB managed a breakthrough on a 6-on-5 just before halftime to make it 8-2. The Gauchos got some offense going in the third, tallying three goals around strikes from Zach Bettino and Kranz as the score stood at 10-5 entering the fourth. There, the Trojans’ hands heated up to the tune of six goals in the final eight minutes. While Kranz locked in a hat trick for himself, Bettino blasted another, and Max MillerEvan AusmusJake Carter and Aidan Wattson all joined the scoresheet to make it a 16-8 final. Bernardo Herzer manned the cage for USC in this one, making eight stops.

With that official game inked into the win column, USC turned to an exhibition matchup against Golden West. With former Trojan Peter Janov on the Rustler bench as an assistant coach, the visitors made the first more and had their hosts in an early hole. A laser from Charlie Saunders knotted the game at 6-6 for halftime, and then USC took its first lead on a Brnetic blast to open the second half. By the final whistle, USC had 12 different Trojans on the scoresheet, led by a pair from Luke Nelson. Goalies Eric Hubner and Charles Mills split time in the cage, combining for six saves.

USC sets up as a host of the 2023 Overnght/MPSF Invitational next week, with competition running Sept. 22-24 at Uytengsu Aquatics Center. The Trojans open the event with a 12 p.m. clash against Whittier in group play on Friday (Sept. 22)

– JR Luka Brnetic scored a career-high three goals — all in the first period — against UC Santa Barbara.
– SR Carson Kranz matched his career high with three goals scored vs. UCSB.
– With their respective goals vs. UCSB, SR Max Miller and RS JR Joshua Waldoch have now scored in a team-high six games this season, matching Massimo Di Martire.
– USC is now 78-13-2 all-time against UC Santa Barbara with wins in the past four meetings.

#3 USC 16, #11 UC Santa Barbara 8
Sept. 16, 2023 | Uytengsu Aquatics Center (Los Angeles, Calif.)
USC    5 – 3 – 2 – 6 = 16
UCSB  1 – 1 – 3 – 3 = 8
USC — Luka Brnetic 3, Carson Kranz 3, Zach Bettino 2, Tom McGuireTony NardelliJoshua WaldochAndrej GrgurevicMax MillerEvan AusmusJake CarterAidan Wattson.
UCSB — Dash McFarland 3, James Oriskovich 2, Luke Bachler, Logan Sutter, Colton Gregory.
SAVES: Bernardo Herzer (USC) 8, Levi Lentin (UCSB) 3, Leif Lacy (UCSB) 1, Wyatt Pieretti (UCSB) 0.

USC 13, Golden West 8 (Exhibition Game)
Sept. 16, 2023 | Uytengsu Aquatics Center (Los Angeles, Calif.)
USC   3 – 3 – 5 – 2 = 13
GW    4 – 2 – 1 – 1 = 8
USC — Luke Nelson 2, Zach BettinoCarson KranzZac CrenshawTom McGuireAndrej GrgurevicCharlie SaundersLuka BrneticReed StemlerJack VortWill SanchezMax Miller.
GW — Tommy Kelly 3, Tomas De Luca 2, Alec Johnson, Mason Merritt, Emiliano Tover.
Eric Hubner (USC) 4 [1st half], Charles Mills (USC) 2 [2nd half], Pablo Souza (GW) 2, Braeden Sanders (GW) 1, José Antonio Silva (GW) 5.

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