UCSB overwhelmed by No. 1 USC

LOS ANGELES — UCSB fell behind 5-1 in the first period against top-ranked USC and never recovered, losing 17-9 in the opening game of the MPSF Men’s Water Polo Tournament on Friday at USC.

USC senior Michael Rosenthal went big again for the Trojan cause, slamming home a career-high four goals to help keep the four-time defending NCAA-champion Trojans undefeated on the year at 25-0.

Derek Shoemaker, Matt Gronow and Bryce Miller each scored two goals for UCSB (15-11).

The Gauchos got as close as three with a pair of Gronow strikes that made it 6-3. The Trojans then unleashed a dominating eight-goal run that spanned into the second half of play.

In a whistle-filled final three periods, there were plenty of exclusions and penalty shots at both ends. Still, USC proved the more productive down the stretch. After UCSB made it 7-4 midway through the second, that eight-goal blitz began. Rosenthal delivered a pair in the run, as did Mace Rapsey, and before the Gauchos could regroup they were in a 15-4 hold at the midpoint of the third frame.

#1 USC 17, #8 UC Santa Barbara 9
UCSB 1 – 3 – 1 – 4 = 9
USC 5 – 7 – 3 – 2 = 17

UCSB – Derek Shoemaker 2, Matt Gronow 2, Bryce Miller 2, Eric Van de Mortel, Dylan Baliani, Nicholas Jordan.
USC – Michael Rosenthal 4, Kostas Genidounias 3, Jeremy Davie 2, Nikola Vavic 2, Matt Burton 2, Mace Rapsey 2, Zach Lucas, Rex Butler.