After a disappointing loss to UCLA in the MPSF Championship Game nearly two weeks ago, the USC women's water polo team bounced back in a big way during Friday afternoon's NCAA Quarterfinal matchup against No. 7 seed Marist. The Women of Troy, looking to win their first NCAA Championship since 2004, took advantage of an inexperienced Marist squad, cruising to a relatively easy 20-5 victory over the Red Foxes.
In the early goings, USC, much like in previous games, jumped out to an early lead, tallying six goals in the first period. To make things even more frustrating for the opposition, junior driver Joelle Bekhazi netted three of the team's first four goals to post a hat trick within the first quarter alone.
But despite building a comfortable lead, the Women of Troy were relentless, as they went on to post a 16-1 lead - a margin that made a Marist comeback essentially impossible. So yet, despite 3 goals from the Red Foxes in the final period, USC was able to win by a 15-goal margin - their biggest of the season.
With a victory in hand, USC, which improved to 23-3 overall on the year, will appear in its seventh straight NCAA semifinal tomorrow against No. 6 seed LMU at 5:45 p.m. tomorrow evening with the opportunity to advance to Sunday's title match - possibly against No. 1 seed Stanford.
Coincidently enough, LMU's win today came against MPSF postseason champion UCLA, which was aiming to win its 6th straight NCAA championship - a remarkable feat for any schools. Just thought I'd through that in there as well.
Fight On Ladies!