USC Men’s WP Comes Away With 2-2 Split Against Cal, UCLA

by SwimSwam 0

January 25th, 2021 NCAA/College Water Polo

Courtesy: USC Athletics

BERKELEY, CALIF.  — The No. 1 USC men’s water polo team lost some steam on the second day of competition in Berkeley, following up yesterday’s wins over No. 5 California and No. 3 UCLA with losses today against both opponents. Junior goalie Nic Porter amassed a career-high 20 saves against the Golden Bears, but the Trojans still wound up with a 12-9 loss in the morning. In the afternoon meeting with the Bruins, USC suffered a spotty second half as UCLA emerged with an 11-8 win over the Trojans.
Against the Bears, USC saw Cal tally four goals in the first period, and the Trojans could not find the rally to work back ahead down the stretch. Porter highlighted the first frame with a 5-meter penalty block, but the Bears would convert their next two 5-meter chances, while USC earned no penalty shots in the game. USC would close the gap down to one in the third and in the fourth, but both times the Bears had a two-goal answer to craft back that three-goal advantage. By the final whistle, USC’s Jacob Mercep had led the scoring push with three goals, while freshman Carson Kranz had added two for the Trojan cause. Despite the loss, Porter had an impressive outing in matching his career high of 20 saves.
After a five-goal win over UCLA yesterday, USC and the Bruins were largely in lockstep early on today. Thanks in part to freshman Max Miller’s first career goal as a Trojan, USC was up 4-3 after one period of play,  only to see UCLA rattle off three straight goals to open the second to take a lead it wouldn’t surrender. The Bruins would convert three 5-meter penalty shots in the game for a helpful boost. USC got to within one goal of UCLA twice before halftime on goals from Kranz and Marcus Longton, but UCLA pinned up two unanswered in the third for a three-goal gap entering the fourth. There Mercep would convert USC’s lone 5-meter penalty chance of the game, although it was followed by a blast from the Bruins that wrapped things as an 11-8 UCLA win.
The next competition for all three teams is due to take place at USC’s Uytengsu Aquatics Center. The Trojans will host Cal and UCLA for action Feb. 6-7.
#5 California 12, #1 USC 9
Jan. 24, 2021 | Berkeley, Calif.
USC   1 – 3 – 3 – 2 = 9
CAL   4 – 3 – 3 – 2 = 12
SCORING:
USC — Jacob Mercep 3, Carson Kranz 2, Luke Wyatt, Jake Ehrhardt, Chris Sturtevant, Marcus Longton.
CAL — Nicolaos Papanikolaou 5, Joe Molina 2, Marko Valecic, Chris Ball, Alika Naone, Jack Deely, Sam Untrecht.
SAVES: Nic Porter (USC) 20, Adrian Weinberg (CAL) 9.
#1 USC vs. #3 UCLA
Jan. 24, 2021 | Berkeley, Calif.
USC    4 – 3 – 0. – 1 = 8
UCLA  3 – 5 – 2 – 1 = 11
SCORING:
USC — Jacob Mercep 2, Wyatt Barker, Max Miller, Alexander Lansill, Jake Ehrhardt, Carson Kranz, Marcus Longton.
UCLA — Tommy Gruwell 4, Chasen Travisano 2, Nicolas Saveljic 2, Jake Cavano 2, Tanner Pulice.
SAVES: Nic Porter (USC) 10, Bernardo Maurizi (UCLA) 12.

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