No. 1 USC wins NorCal tournament
Dennerley collects 19 saves to lead to the Trojans to title win
STOCKTON, Calif. -- USC captured its second consecutive NorCal Tournament title behind a history-making defensive stand from USC goalie Joel Dennerley and a five-goal frenzy from newcomer Kosta Genidounias. The Trojans served up a 10-8 win against UCLA in Sunday’s title match, improving the three-time defending NCAA champs’ overall record to 5-0.
Joel Dennerley needed just three saves to take over as USC’s all-time career saves leader, but the senior went well over the mark in collecting 19 saves for the Trojans’ defensive stand against the rival Bruins. Dennerley eclipsed a 24-year stand by Kevin Stringer as the USC saves leader with Sunday’s winning effort, as he now holds 692 career saves.
The Trojans powered their way to a 5-2 lead in the first quarter, pulling out of a 2-2 tie with three straight scores -- two from Genidounias and one from Nikola Vavic. The Bruins closed the gap to one with back-to-back scores to open the second, but another blast from Genidounias gathered in a little padding for the Trojans for halftime.
UCLA would hang around with another third-quarter effort, but even a 7-6 USC lead with a minute to go in the third wouldn’t deter the Trojan cause. Peter Kurzeka blasted in a score with nine seconds left in the frame to make it 8-6, and USC would create a little more room against the Bruins in the fourth. Genidounias was the provider once again, rifling in his fourth and fifth goals around a lone strike from the Bruins to take USC to a 10-7 lead. UCLA would get one more to go with 2:25 on the clock, but the Trojan defense held strong the rest of the way to lock in on a 10-8 victory against UCLA and claim the 2011 NorCal Tournament title for USC.