Men’s Water Polo: USC Captures MPSF Tournament Title

LOS ANGELES, Calif., November 28. TOP-ranked USC captured the MPSF Championship Sunday by defeating Stanford 8-5 at the McDonald's Swim Stadium in Los Angeles. The win means that the Trojans receive the automatic bid to the NCAA Championships Dec. 3-4.

The victory was the 17th in a row for the Trojans, improving their record this season to 24-1.

The Trojans were led by Juraj Zatovic and Juan Delgadillo, who both have scored in every game this season. Head Coach Jovan Vavic said Zatovic
"does so much for us even if he doesn't score. He is a great offensive presence."

The game started off with a fast goal from Stanford's Thomas Hopkins in the first 30 seconds of play. The Trojans retaliated with two goals, the first from Arjan Ligtenberg and the second off an inside rocket from Pavol Valovic to put USC up by one at the end of the first period.

The Trojans collected two points in the second period and held the Cardinal scoreless. Zatovic, USC's all-time leading scorer, fired off the first goal of the period; the other came from Brandon Child, who snuck the ball in on the last second of the shot clock.

USC continued its streak, putting the Trojans at five consecutive goals before Stanford scored its second goal of the game two minutes into the third period.

Stanford's Hopkins picked up his second goal of the game in the first minute of the fourth period to cut the margin to 5-3. But Delgadillo fired off his first goal 30 seconds later before Stanford notched a goal just 15 seconds after Delgadillo's score to bring the score to 6-4.

The Trojans tallied two more points within 20 seconds of each other when Delgadillo notched his second goal of the afternoon and Valovuic followed with a breakaway. The Cardinal finished out the game with a half court lob over Justin McCain with 16 seconds left in the match.

Of all of the matchups, Vavic said he was most impressed with two meter defenders Ted Zepfel and Arjan Ligtenberg. He also said "The team did a great job to not worry about the NCAAs and just focus on Stanford."

The Trojans return to action against St. Francis College of New York in the Final Four of the NCAA tournament Dec. 3 at Bucknell University in Pennsylvania.

Game 12: USC def. Stanford (8-5)


USC 2 2 1 3 — 8
Pacific 1 0 1 3 — 5

USC — Ted Zepfel (2), Pavol Valovic (1), Juan Delgadillo (2), Juraj Zatovic (1), Brandon Child (1), Arjan Ligtewberg (1)
Stanford — Peter Varellas (1),Thomas Hopkins (4)

Saves: Adam Shilling (USC) 8, Sandman (Stanford) 5, Hohener (Stanford) 1.


Other results from today:

Game 9: Pepperdine Downs Long Beach State, 9-7

Pepperdine came out to play, scoring the first goal of the game in the first 40 seconds of play. The teams traded a pair of goals before the Waves picked up a goal with eight seconds left to play in the period, to give Pepperdine a one point lead entering the second period.

At the beginning of the second period Pepperdine increased its lead with a goal from Matt Digges. Long Beach finished out the period with a goal by Brett McCleave in the last 44 seconds of the period.

The 49ers started off the third period with a fast goal by Stefan Ludecke to tie up the match. Pepperdine had a quick answer with two goals to give the Waves a two-point advantage entering the fourth quarter.

The Waves continued their streak picking up a goal in the first two minutes of the last period before the 49ers took advantage of a 5-on-4 penalty situation to score. Pepperdine picked up a point from Adam Hewko and Long Beach finished out the period with a goal in the last 46 seconds of the match.

Pepperdine 4 1 2 2 — 9
Long Beach State 3 1 1 2 — 7

Pepperdine — Miller (2), Hewko (3), Digges (1), Beaney (1), MacDonnell (2).
Long Beach State–Gerardi (4), Ludecke (1), Tomassi (1), McCleave (1).

Saves: Ben Tait (Pepperdine) 12 , Thomas Onyshko (Long Beach State) 10.

Game 10: UCLA Downs Pacific, 9-5, with 4th Quarter Burst

UCLA started the match off with a fast goal on a power play by Krsto Sbutega. Pacific tied it up on a 5-on-4 advantage to finish out the period.

The teams traded a pair of goals before Grant Zider of UCLA fired off a shot to put the Bruins ahead by one.

Pacific tied the match up in the beginning of the third period before UCLA tallied two points. The Tigers took advantage of a man advantage to make it a one-point game going into the final period.

UCLA started off the period with a score on a 4-meter penalty shot taken by Sbutega. The Bruins finished off the match with three more goals to defeat the Tigers 9-5

UCLA 1 2 2 4 — 9
Pacific 1 1 2 1 — 5

UCLA — Krsto Sbutega (3), Justin Johnson, Grant Zider (2), Matthew Jacobs, Santos, Smith.
Pacific — Turnbull (2), Bakic (3)

Saves: Will Didinger (UCLA) 2, Popovic (Pacific) 4.

Game 11: California Whips UC Irvine, 9-7

California 3 2 4 0 — 9
UC Irvine 0 2 3 2 — 7

California –John Mann (2), Brian Kinsel (1), Marty Matthies (2), Jeff Tyrell (2), Shea Buckner (2). UC Irvine — Nate White (1), Cole Bitter (2), Chris Peters (1), Dreason Barry (2), Tim Hutten (1).

Saves: 8 (California) Nate Bennett , 11 (UC Irvine) Joe Wynne.

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