The top ranked USC women’s water polo team host second-ranked Stanford on Saturday, with championship implications on the line. The Women of Troy (20-0, 4-0 MPSF) aim to remain undefeated, as they face the red-hot Stanford Cardinal (23-1, 4-0).
“We want to fill this pool with fans, we would love for everyone to come out and support,” junior Maddy Rosenthal said. The Trojans have quite the foe in their senior game, as they face their biggest threat for a National Championship in Stanford.
USC is coming into this highly-touted contest with two non-conference victories over LMU 17-6 and UC Irvine 11-3. The Trojans blasted 13 goals in the second and third periods of play to launch far ahead of the Loyola Marymount Lions.
Monica Vavic took over in the second period, putting on a hat trick display, sparking the Women of Troy undefeated season alive. Against the Anteaters, the Women of Troy held its host scoreless for just under 22 minutes of the last stretch of play, carrying the Trojans to their regular-season record 20th victory.
The last time these Goliath’s met, the matchup was epic as the Trojans worked out a 13-10 victory over the Stanford Cardinal, giving them the only loss of the season. The game was tied 8-8 before the Trojans rammed home three straight scores on goals from Kelly Mendoza, Hannah Buckling and Monica Vavic to take a lead they would not relinquish.
Melissa Seidemann is Stanford’s top scorer with 55 goals, and goalie Kate Baldoni averages 7.8 saves and 4.3 goals against per game. USC is 25-26 all-time against Stanford after beating the Cardinal at this year’s UCI Invitational. The Trojans are lead by sophomore super star Monica Vavic, who is averaging 3.07 goals per game as the top offensive threat.
That being said, this matchup comes down to strength versus strength, “We have so many strengths offensively and defensively…if you try to shut down one girl we are going to be able to step up in other areas,” Rosenthal said. The matchup begins at 4 p.m. after the USC Spring Football Game.