Nov. 30, 2008

 

Courtesy of Southern California

MALIBU, CALIF. -- The USC men's water polo team tacked up its biggest win over UCLA since 1998 with a 9-5 victory over the Bruins in the MPSF Semifinals today in Malibu, Calif. The Trojans peeled out to a 6-0 start against UCLA, and emerged with a four-goal win that holds USC's undefeated run through the 2008 season intact as the Trojans enter Sunday's MPSF championship game. There, USC will meet Pepperdine in a 3:30 p.m. title match at Pepperdine's Raleigh Runnels Memorial Pool.

With a win in the MPSF final, USC can capture a sixth conference tournament title. The Trojans won the 2007 MPSF Tournament to clinch the automatic berth into last year's NCAA Tournament. Now holding a 26-0 overall record on the year, USC will play host Pepperdine in the final after the Waves grabbed an 8-7 win over Stanford in overtime during their semifinal on Saturday afternoon.

In today's semifinal clash with UCLA, the Trojans blasted the Bruins with a barrage of six straight goals to open the game, while the USC defense blanked UCLA to the tune of over 11 minutes of scoring silence from the Bruins. Six different Trojan scorers delivered during USC's stockpiling of goals to open the match, as J.W. Krumpholz opened things up at the 5:19 mark of the first period, and Matt Sagehorn, Jovan Vranes and Shea Buckner each got to the back of the net before the game's first buzzer.

In the second period, Peter Kurzeka slammed home USC's fifth goal of the day, and Anthony Artukovich converted less than a minute later to take the Trojans ahead 6-0 with five minutes still to go before halftime. UCLA would catch a break at 4:43 in the second, and then got another one to go at 2:32 to make it 6-2 USC.
 
Kurzeka tacked up his second of the day midway through the third period to lift USC up 7-2, and a second strike from Krumpholz answered a Bruin score before the close of the third to make it 8-3 USC entering the final period of play.

Devon Borisoff kicked off the fourth by taking the Trojans back ahead by six, up 9-3 with a score on USC's first possession. UCLA was awarded a penalty shot with two minutes to go, cutting the score to 9-4, and then the Bruins punched in another goal at 1:13 to make it 9-5 USC entering the final minute of action and wrapping up the scoring for the day.

MPSF SEMIFINAL
USC 9, UCLA 5
USC 4 - 2 - 2 - 1 -- 9
UCLA 0 - 2 - 1 - 2 -- 5

SCORING:
USC -- Peter Kurzeka 2, J.W. Krumpholz 2, Matt Sagehorn, Jovan Vranes, Shea Buckner, Anthony Artukovich, Devon Borisoff.
UCLA -- Scott Davidson 2, Cullen Hennessy, Krsto Sbutega, Ben Hohl.

SAVES: Joel Dennerley (USC) 5, Chay Lapin (UCLA) 7.