No. 5 USC Men’s Water Polo Finishes Fourth At MPSF Invite

by SwimSwam 0

September 26th, 2022 NCAA/College Water Polo, Water Polo

Courtesy: USC Athletics

STANFORD, CALIF. — The No. 5 USC men’s water polo team turned the tables on No. 1 California during today’s third-place game, but the Golden Bears got the late goals they needed to take back the lead and beat the Trojans 11-10 at the MPSF Invitational at Stanford’s Avery Aquatic Center. USC goes to 10-4 overall with the loss.

USC stalled out in the first frame while Cal drummed up a 3-0 lead in those first eight minutes. The Trojans roared to life in the next stretch, however. Three straight Trojan scores — from Ashworth MolthenMax Miller and Massimo Di Martire — had the game back even at 3-3. Cal converted a power play next to nudge back ahead, only to see USC’s Di Martire punch up another equalizer to make it 4-4 not four minutes deep into the period. After a USC defensive takeaway and a 6-on-5 drawn by Jake Ehrhardt, Molthen found Andrej Grgurevic for the slam that gave USC its first lead of the game, up 5-4 at 3:25. The battle continued to heat up, with Cal clawing back and capturing back the lead after answering a Chris Sturtevant go-ahead goal with two Bear scores for a 7-6 Cal lead at halftime.

USC pieced together another offensive surge paired with some key defensive stops as the Trojans scored three straight. Molthen converted a USC  5-meter penalty shot, Evan Ausmus knocked in a USC 6-on-5, and Grgurevic laced in his second to lift Usc ahead 9-7 with 2:46 on the clock. Cal got two goals to go around a Marcus Longton laser, and it was 10-9 USC entering the fourth. In that final stretch, USC’s offense sputtered while Cal put away a pair of 6-on-5 opportunities. Trailing 11-10 with 2:12 to go, the Trojans were unable to break through and force overtime, taking the loss to wrap the tournament in fourth place.

USC has two games on tap next week, visiting UC Santa Barbara for a 12 p.m. clash on Friday (Sept. 30) before returning to home waters on Sunday (Oct. 2) to face UC Irvine at 12 p.m. at Uytengsu Aquatics Center.

– With his goal today, Marcus Longton extended his scoring streak to 14 games — the only Trojan to have scored in every game this season.
– With two goals today, Massimo Di Martire continues to lead USC in scoring this season, now with 32 goals.
– Evan Ausmus scored his first career goal against a top-five ranked opponent today.
– With two-goal outings today, Ashworth Molthen and Massimo Di Martire have matched Jake Ehrhardt with a team-high nine multiple-goal games so far this season


#1 California 11, #5 USC 10
Sept. 25, 2022 | Avery Aquatic Center (Stanford, Calif.)
USC    0 – 6 – 4 – 0 = 10
CAL     3 – 4 – 2 – 2 = 11
USC — Ashworth Molthen 2, Massimo Di Martire 2, Andrej Grgurevic 2, Max MillerChris SturtevantEvan AusmusMarcus Longton.
CAL — Roberto Valera 3, Nikos Papanikolaou 2, Albert Ponferrada, Max Casabella, Jordi Gascon, Warren Loth, Wyatt Mundelius, Marko Valecic.
SAVES: Kyle McKenney (USC) 8, Adrian Weinberg (CAL) 17.

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