Water Polo

Women’s water polo dominates ASU Invitational

USC has a perfect 5-0 record after this weekend.

The Trojans entered the ASU Invitational with only one game under their belt, a 12-7 win against UC Irvine. Starting on Friday, USC played four matches, two against Arizona State and two against Michigan. The Trojans swept, showing exactly why they are ranked No. 1 in the country.

“This was a very, very good tournament and test going into the season,” head coach Marko Pintaric said. “Everyone chipped in and did their part for those four games.”

On Friday morning, USC took on No. 4 Arizona State. Redshirt senior utility Maud Megens kicked off the scoring, notching the Trojans first three goals of the match. The first half was closely contested, with USC taking a 8-7 lead.

Once the whistle blew for the third quarter, the Trojans took command of the game with an explosive offense and aggressive defense. The Trojans scored eight second-half goals and allowed only one for a 16-8 victory.

Megens was a standout player, adding two more goals for five on the game. Also showing her offensive prowess, redshirt senior driver Kelsey McIntosh picked up five points, three goals and two assists.

The following day, USC faced Arizona State again. After facing each other the previous day, both teams played better defense, knowing their opponents’ weaknesses and style of play. After three quarters, USC was up 6-3 but was piling on the number of exclusions.

Lucky for them, Arizona State couldn’t capitalize on the man advantage, but this may prove to be an issue against other teams. Arizona State almost made a full comeback, but USC held them off, winning 6-5.

Only a few hours later, USC took on Michigan. After two quarters, it was a close 6-4 battle, with USC out front. USC extended its lead over Michigan with two goals from junior two-meter Mireia Guiral in the third frame, netting her a hat trick for the match. USC prevailed with a 10-6 triumph over the Wolverines.

USC’s last game of the weekend was again versus Michigan. After being down 1-0 for the first minute and a half, USC took the lead and never lost it for the rest of the contest. Megens, junior driver Grace Tehaney and junior utility Bayley Weber completed hat tricks in the 13-7 win.

With 10 goals this weekend, Megens jumped to No. 9 on the all-time scoring list for USC with a total of 178 goals.

“We have a good senior group, led by Kelsey [McIntosh], Denise [Mammolito], and Maud [Megens]. [Megens] really stepped up,” Pintaric said.

For the most part, the team has relied on their senior and junior veterans. But, looking ahead, Pintaric noted, “The biggest thing is to integrate the younger girls that didn’t play a lot of minutes to play with older girls.”

The Trojans will look to stay undefeated when they travel to Berkeley to take on Cal March 20-21.