College NCAA Water Polo (Men)

USC Trojans win NCAA Championship, beating Stanford in a “crazy” game

Photo: USC Trojans/Facebook.com

The USC men’s water polo team won the NCAA Championship for the 10th time in its history. In the final game, the No. 3 USC Trojans beat No. 1 Stanford (14:12), which was the host of the NCAA Championships held last weekend. USC finally clinched the trophy after four consecutive losses in the final games.

Quarterfinals

Favorites recorded big wins in the quarterfinals. No. 2 and third-seeded UCLA rolled past George Washington (18:6). UC San Diego (4th seed), led by Connor Turnbow-Lindenstadt, who had a career game with seven goals, beat Long Beach State (14:9).championships in the same calendar year (2010, 2013 and 2018).

UCLA 18:6 George Washington
(5:2, 4:1, 6:0, 3:3)

UCLA: Molthen 3, Saveljic 3, Rone 3, Travisano 2, Jarvis, Brozyna-Vilim, Stilling, Snyder, Rosenfield, Osborne, Cavano. Saves: Wolf 9, Roland 2
George Washington: Mavis 3, Destici, Slaughter, Levai.

UC San Diego 14:9 Long Beach
(3:2, 2:3, 4:1, 5:3)

UC San Diego: Turnbow-Lindenstadt 7, Ranj 2, Karlov, Langiewicz, Hilde-Jones, Carnigla.
Long Beach State: Stewart 4, Pateros 2, Casper, Zaan, Ritter.

 

Semifinals

Stanford, the No.1 seed, convincingly beat UC San Diego in the first game of the semifinals. The UC San Diego Tritons fought hard in the first half. At the end of the first quarter, the rivals were tied (3:3). Deep into the third period, the Tritons trailed 5:6, but after that, they ran out of gas. Stanford produced a 5:0 run to jump to an 11:5 lead early in the last quarter. The Cardinal continued to dominate and recorded a 16:7 win. Stanford reached the NCAA final for the first time since 2008.

As expected, the second semifinals offered a lot of thrills. No. 2 seed USC faced third-seeded UCLA. The UCLA Bruins built a 3:1 lead early in the second period, but from that point on, the two teams were in the neck and neck race. At halftime, the score was 4:4. Zack D’ Sa gave the USC Trojans their first lead (5:4) 2:45 from the end of the third quarter. The rivals were tied 7:7 with less than minute to play. USC team had the last attack in the match. Its coach Josip Vavic called timeout with 22 seconds to go. The big drama was ended by Sam Slobodien, who hit the back of the net 5 seconds from the end for an 8:7 win and Trojans secured their 14th consecutive appearance in the NCAA Championship Game. In the 2017 final, the Trojans lost to UCLA (5:7).

Stanford – UC San Diego 16:7
(3:3, 4:2, 3:0, 6:2)

Stanford:Parrish 4, Williams 3, D. Woodhead 2, Seybold, Stanch 2, Hallock 2, Abramson, Killon. Saves: Lewis 15
UC San Diego: Turnbow-Lindenstadt 3, Valania, Ivanovich, Asplund, Milton. Saves: Turner 10

USC 8:7 UCLA
(1:1, 3:3, 1:1, 3:2)

USC (No. 2 seed): Daube 3, Meier, Rhodes, D’Sa, Mercep, Slobodien. Saves Porter 7.
UCLA (No. 3): Cavano 3, Stilling, Rone, Snyder, Travisano. Saves: Wolf 13

 

Championship Game

USC opened the final game with a 6:0 lead! The Trojans were 8:1 up early in the third quarter. A minute before the last break, they had an 11:3 advantage. It seemed that they would demolish Stanford, which won the MPSF title two weeks ago. But, the hosts started climbing back.

The last period saw 11 goals! The Cardinal was reducing the big deficit step-by-step and it trailed 11:13 with 58 seconds remaining. However, USC didn’t let a big turn. In the next possession, Jack Ehrhardt gave USC a new 3-goal lead (14:11). Stanford won the last period (8:3), but the USC celebrated a nice 14:12 victory for the 10th NCAA title.

Jacob Mercep (USC), who netted five goals in the final, was named the NCAA Tournament MVP.

The 2018 Men’s NCAA water polo title is the university’s 110th national championship all-time. After the new success, Jovan Vavic has 16 national championships as a coach of the USC men’s and women’s programs. This is the third time that Vavic has guided the USC women and men to national championships in the same year (201,2013, and 2018)

USC 14:12 Stanford
(5:0, 2:1, 4:3, 3:8)

USC: Mercep 5, Slobodien 2, Rhodes, Dasic, Daube, Vavic, Wyatt, Maier, Ehrhardt. Saves: Porter 12
Stanford: Hallock 5, Williams 3, Abramson2, D. Woodhead, Q. Woodhead. Saves: Lewis 4.

 

2018 NCAA Championship

Opening games 1 (November 24th and 25th)

Long Beach State – Pomona Pitzer 12:5
George Washington – Princeton 14:13 (OT)

NCAA Tournament (Stanford, November 29th – December 2nd)

Quarterfinals

UC San Diego (No. 4 seed) – Long Beach State 14:9
UCLA (No.3 seed) – George Washington 18:6

Semifinals

USC (No. 2 seed) – UCLA (No. 3) 8:7
Stanford (No. 1) – UC San Diego (No. 4) 16:7

Championship game

USC (No. 2) – Stanford (No. 1) 14:12

All NCAA Championships

1969 UCLA vs. California 5:2
1970 UC Irvine vs. UCLA 7:6 (3 OT)
1971 UCLA vs. San Jose State 5:3
1972 UCLA vs. UC Irvine 10:5
1973 California vs. UC Irvine 8:4
1974 California vs. UC Irvine 7:6
1975 California vs. UC Irvine 9:8
1976 Stanford vs. UCLA 13:12
1977 California vs. UC Irvine 8:6
1978 Stanford vs. California 7:6 (3 OT)
1979 UC Santa Barbara vs. UCLA 11:3
1980 Stanford vs. California 8:6
1981 Stanford vs. Long Beach State 17:6
1982 UC Irvine vs. Stanford 7:4
1983 California vs. USC 10:7
1984 California vs. Stanford 9:8
1985 Stanford vs. UC Irvine 12:11 (2 OT)
1986 Stanford vs. California 9:6
1987 California vs. USC 9:8 (OT)
1988 California vs. UCLA 14:11
1989 UC Irvine vs. California 9:8
1990 California vs. Stanford 8:7
1991 California vs. UCLA 7:6
1992 California vs. Stanford 12:11 (3 OT)
1993 Stanford vs. USC 11:9
1994 Stanford vs. USC 14:10
1995 UCLA vs. California 10:8
1996 UCLA vs. USC 8:7
1997 Pepperdine vs. USC 8:7 (2 OT)
1998 USC vs. Stanford 9:8 (2 OT)
1999 UCLA vs. Stanford 6:5
2000 UCLA vs. UC San Diego 11:2
2001 Stanford vs. UCLA 8:5
2002 Stanford vs. California 7:6
2003 USC vs. Stanford 9:7 (2 OT)
2004 UCLA vs. Stanford 10:9 (OT)
2005 USC vs. Stanford 3:2
2006 California vs. USC 7:6
2007 California vs. USC 8:6
2008 USC vs. Stanford 7:5
2009 USC vs. UCLA 7:6
2010 USC vs. California 12:10 (OT)
2011 USC vs. UCLA 7:4
2012 USC vs. UCLA 11:10
2013 USC vs. Pacific 12:11 (2 OT)
2014 UCLA vs. USC 9:8
2015 UCLA vs. USC 10:7
2016 California vs. USC 11:8 (2 OT)
2017 UCLA vs. USC 7:5
2018 USC vs. Stanford 14:12

Titles per team

California 14
UCLA 11
Stanford 10
USC 10
UC Irvine 3
Pepperdine 1
UC Santa Barbara 1

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