Courtesy: USC Athletics
DAVIS, CALIF. — The No. 3 USC men’s water polo team bounced back from a rare loss yesterday by buckling down at today’s Aggie Roundup, beating host No. 6 UC Davis 12-4 and then taking down No. 20 Navy 14-5 to improve to 8-2 overall on the year. In addition to balanced offense, the Trojans got big performances from goalies Kyle McKenney and Eric Hubner. McKenney hauled in 12 saves against the Aggies, with two shutout periods of work along the way. And Eric Hubner played his first complete game in goal, setting his career high with 14 saves, including two penalty blocks, while also tallying the first goal scored by a USC goalie on record.
In the morning matchup against the Aggies it was Max Miller setting the tone on the offensive end as he had a career-high four goals on the board by halftime. The Trojan defense — backed up by goalie Kyle McKenney — shut out its host in the first period of play while the offense piled up five goals from the hands of four different scorers. Marcus Longton mashed in two in that hot start for the Trojans, giving way to Miller’s big second frame. The Aggies got some offense of its own going in that stretch, and it was an 8-3 USC lead at halftime. Only one UC Davis shot would squeak through in the next 16 minutes, though. McKenney’s saves count ballooned to 12 by the final buzzer, as USC held the Aggies silent for the last 10:20 of the game. Meanwhile, USC plugged in two goals in the third and two more in the fourth. Massimo Di Martire tallied twice in that half, while Ashworth Molthen set up Chris Agliozzo for a rocket in the third before recorded his second with a sizzling cross cage strike in the fourth as USC maneuvered to a 12-4 final victory over the Aggies.
A few hours later, USC lined up against Navy for the first time since 2010. The Midshipmen struck first, only to see USC fire off six straight goals to take control. The third goal in that rally came from a savvy full-length toss from goalie Eric Hubner, who caught the Navy goalie well out of the cage to take the Trojans ahead 3-1 and mark up what was the first score by a USC goalie on record. Three minutes earlier, Hubner had snuffed a Navy 5-meter penalty shot — a feat he’d achieve again in the fourth period of play as his saves tally moved toward that 14-save final. Offensively, USC had 12 different Trojans score in the win, while the defense shut out the Midshipmen for almost 12 full minutes in the second half. Freshman Evan Ausmus had the final word for the Trojans, beating the shot clock in the final seconds to wrap a 14-5 USC win.
👏Have a DAY, Hubner! 👏
1️⃣st goal ever scored by a USC goalie on record
2️⃣ penalty blocks
Career-high 1️⃣4️⃣ saves
1️⃣st complete-game outing for the RS freshman!#FightOn ✌️ pic.twitter.com/oNFXlRacFq
— USC Water Polo (@USCWaterPolo) September 18, 2022
Next week, USC heads to Palo Alto for competition at the MPSF Invitational, hosted by Stanford from Sept. 23-25. The Trojans open up against Fordham at 4:40 p.m. on Friday (Sept. 23).
– Max Miller scored a career-high four goals vs. UC Davis.
– With 12 saves vs. UC Davis, Kyle McKenney recorded his third double-digit save outing this season.
– With three goals today, Jake Ehrhardt climbed to No. 19 all-time at USC with 140 career goals.
– Marcus Longton has now scored in 10 straight games — the only Trojan to have scored in every game this season.
– Eric Hubner set his career high with 14 saves— including two penalty stops — today vs. Navy his first complete-game outing.
– Hubner’s goal vs. Navy was the first by a USC goalie on record.