The UCSD women’s water polo team took a loss against University of Southern California in a non-conference matchup this past Friday at Uytengsu Aquatics Center, falling with a considerable score difference of 17–4.
The Tritons haven’t played the Trojans since 2011 during the UC Irvine Invitational when they defeated the Trojans handily 14–5. Prior to entering this match, the Tritons were 7–10 against the Trojans in all-time games; now the all-time ranking has fallen to 7–11 in favor of the Trojans. UCSD is ranked nationally at 19th while USC is ranked at No. 3 by the California Water Polo Association national poll. Last Friday’s game was the Trojans’ season opener.
Heading into the game, the Tritons knew that it would not be an easy battle, but they definitely knew that they had the arsenal to compete against the Trojans. Redshirt junior Alexis Wieseler, junior Lauren Boyer, and senior Julia Kirkland have all started off this season strongly as they have all combined for a total of five hat tricks already since the start of the season, which they started only five games ago. Senior goalie Courtney Miller had returned this season just as fired up as she had ended the last season, holding both school records for most saves in her career and in a season.
The match started off well for the Trojans as they jumped off to an early 4–0 lead before the Tritons could even respond with a goal. Boyer was able to shut down the Trojans’ hot streak when she managed to bury one home for the Tritons, closing down the deficit. The Trojans wouldn’t have any of it, though, and they lashed back by scoring two more goals to make the deficit increase to 6–1 before the end of the quarter. The following quarter was something of a nightmare for the Tritons as they were completely shut out unable to score a single goal while the Trojans were able to score three more. Halftime came around with the Trojans leading the Tritons with a comfortable lead of 9–1.
Wieseler came out of the halftime able to sink in the first goal of the second half for the Tritons, making it seem like things might actually turn around. Their hopes were shattered as the Trojans scored four more goals before the quarter ended. The Tritons started off the the fourth and final quarter in hopes of a huge comeback, trailing 13–2.
Ultimately, it didn’t happen. The Tritons were outscored by the Trojans 2–4 during the final quarter and ended up with sizeable score difference of 17–4. Both goals scored during the fourth quarter were also by Wieseler, who was able to score a hat trick over the course of the match.
After this loss, the Tritons have a week off before they host Cal State East Bay this upcoming Friday, Feb. 12th match at 6 p.m. in RIMAC Arena. Following that, the Tritons are in for a busy weekend as they host the two-day Triton Invitational on Feb. 13–14. The first match for the Tritons during the Invitational will be against Indiana, starting off on Saturday, Feb. 13 at 9:20 a.m.