LOS ANGELES, Calif. — No. 4 USC shut out visiting No. 14 Long Beach State in the first half of action as the Trojans rolled up a 14-3 win against the 49ers in an MPSF matchup. The victory puts the Trojans back on a winning track after USC took a pair of losses last weekend. Today’s decisive statement by the Trojans saw nine different scorers tear into the back of the net to improve USC to 10-2 overall and 2-0 in MPSF play.
USC senior Peter Kurzeka continued his climb up the career ladder with a pair of goals that punched the Trojan up to No. 17 all-time with 121 career goals to date. He was one of five Trojans to tally a pair on the day, joined by Michael Rosenthal, Nikola Vavic, Kostas Genidounias and Jack Plaga. USC goalie Joel Dennerley tacked up eight saves for the Trojan defensive cause, which shut down the 49ers for the first 21 minutes of action.
USC amassed a 7-0 lead during that span as Vavic and Genidounias each slotted a pair of goals in the stretch. USC field blocks and stubborn defense backed up that push, with Genidounias feeding Vavic on the counterattack for the seventh goal in the run. Long Beach State would manage to break the silence five minutes into the third period, but Rosenthal had a quick answer for the Trojans with a blast that got it to 8-1 USC.
In the final period of play, USC further overwhelmed the 49ers, whose frustrations came to a head when Hayden Leach threw punches and was ejected from the game with a flagrant misconduct penalty. USC had climbed ahead 11-2 at that point, with goals coming from three new Trojan scorers as Connor Virjee slung in one to open the frame, and Marc Vonderweidt and Brian Boswell also scored. Kurzeka would deliver a nearside skip off a Genidounias setup for a 12-2 USC lead before the 49ers struck after a 6-on-5 opportunity, and Jack Plaga finished off the scoring himself with back-to-back power play scores to round out the 14-3 USC win.