The USC men's water polo team made another big move in the 2005 season race by claiming the championship at the Northern California Tournament with a 9-8 win over host California on Sunday afternoon, Oct. 16. To get to that title match, the Trojans downed Santa Clara and UC Irvine on Saturday before dispatching No. 3 Stanford in the semifinals with a 10-9 win over the Cardinal. Goalie Adam Shilling helped the Trojans tack up their second and third consecutive one-goal victories in the tournament.

In the championship game, Trojan heavy-hitter Juraj Zatovic nailed down four goals for USC, as the Trojans built a 9-6 lead in the fourth quarter. The Bears closed in, but couldn't pass up USC before the final buzzer. The championship win gives the Trojans their second major tournament victory of the year, as USC also claimed the title of the Southern California Tournament earlier in the season. More importantly, the Trojans now boast a dominating 13-1 overall record on the way into their Mountain Pacific Sports Federation opener this weekend against UC Santa Barbara.

In the semifinal match, USC climbed out to a two-goal edge in the first quarter and at halftime, and was able to hold of the Cardinal for the win -- thanks in large part to a three-goal game from Juan Delgadillo and a pair of goals from Zatovic.

NorCal Open Championship Match California 8, USC 9

USC 2 3 2 2 - 9
California 1 3 2 2 - 8

Scoring: USC - Juraj Zatovic 4, Ted Zepfel 2, Juan Delgadillo, Brandon Child Jovan Vranes. Cal - Michael Sharf 3, John Mann 2, Brian Bacharach, Marty Matthies Jeff Tyrrell.

Saves: Adam Shilling (USC) 6, Nate Bennett (Cal) 9.

Records: USC 13-1, California 13-3

NorCal Semifinal Match Stanford 9, USC 10

Stanford 3 2 2 2 - 9
USC 5 2 2 1 - 10

Scoring: Stanford - J.J. Garton 3, Peter Varellas, Forrest Schwartz, Marcello Pantuliano William Hindle-Katel, Tyler Drake, Michael Bury. USC - Juan Delgadillo 3, Juraj Zatovic 2, Thomas Hale, Ted Zepfel, Pavol Valovic Brandon Child, Tommy Corcoran.

Saves: Sandy Hohener (Stan) 12, Adam Shilling (USC) 7.

-- Courtesy USC