After winning its first two games of the season, the No. 2 men’s water polo team defeated UC Santa Barbara on Saturday 14-3 in its first home game of the 2016 season and then beat both Whittier and LaVerne in the Inland Empire Classic on Sunday in LaVerne.Coming into the match against the No. 6 Gauchos, the Trojans averaged just 3 goals allowed per game with goalkeepers junior McQuin Baron and redshirt freshman Simon Wu sporting 16 total saves.Against the Gauchos, the Men of Troy were efficient on both sides of the ball. On offense, USC had two players with hat tricks as junior two-meter Lachlan Edwards and leading scorer junior drive Matteo Morelli scored three goals apiece.The Trojans then traveled to the Inland Empire Classic at the University of La Verne to take on Whittier College Poets and the host La Verne Leopards.USC made quick work of both opponents, beating Whittier 27-3 and LaVerne 26-1.Next up for the Trojans is a match against Stanford on the road Saturday.
Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on September 2, 2019 at 10:23 pm Contact Adam: email@example.com | @_adamhillman Syracuse couldn’t solve the Lafayette defense. Every time it tried to wind its way into the shooting circle, the Leopards poked the ball away, ending the scoring chance. The Orange appeared tired, worn out by an opening-weekend of three games in four days. That was until the end of the second quarter.Following a foul on the left side of the cage, Charlotte de Vries stood with her knees bent, ready for the ball. Knowing that the penalty corner play wasn’t designed for her, she leaped off the line, searching for a rebound.SJ Quigley’s shot did just that. It bounced off Lafayette goalie Sarah Park’s glove, right into the path of de Vries. The freshman, without wasting a second, one-timed the ball into the right side of the cage.“I’m responsible for always being on post, scoring the goals that we need,” de Vries said, “So when we were down 2-0, I was like ‘I have to find the net or something.’ I was kind of motivated after the first quarter.” AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSU was able to dominate possession, as the defense allowed only one shot after de Vries’ goal. The Orange started to play more long balls instead of trying to be as direct through the middle of the field. No. 18 Syracuse (3-0) scored one more goal in the third quarter to tie the game before sophomore Laura Graziosi slotted home the game-winner in the second overtime, defeating Lafayette (1-1) 3-2.Before de Vries’ fourth goal in her third collegiate game, SU trailed by two goals and had only tallied one shot in the first quarter. But, that goal sparked the Orange. The team improved its energy and structure, head coach Ange Bradley said, tallying six shots on goal to Lafayette’s zero after the first half. Syracuse walked into halftime motivated – even though it trailed by a goal – determined to take advantage of the momentum de Vries provided. The Orange, desperate to find another goal, spent the majority of halftime trying to pump each other up, Graziosi said.Four minutes into the third quarter, SU found what it was looking for – again through its star freshman.de Vries, receiving a pass from Graziosi off a penalty corner, rifled a shot toward the bottom left corner of the cage. With a plethora of bodies blocking the vision of Park, sophomore Tess Queen placed her stick in front of the ball’s path.It swerved to the opposite side of the net, tying the score at two. Queen threw her arms in the air as de Vries hugged her. “We all knew that we had to do something to get back and win this game, and eventually we did that,” Graziosi said.Amy Nakamura | Co-Digital EditorThat emphasis continued throughout the second half as the Orange outshot the Leopards 12-0 over the last 41 minutes of regulation. With a shift in the way SU defended and pressed Lafayette, Syracuse upped the pace of play.Graziosi and junior Carolin Hoffmann sprinted, deked, and evaded defenders out wide near the sideline, de Vries weaved through masses of backs and midfielders up the middle, and junior SJ Quigley dispossessed Leopards in the middle of the field.But, the Orange couldn’t find a third goal. Penalty corner after penalty corner was blocked, sailed wide, or even crashed against the post. Breakaways were halted with timely poke checks from Lafayette’s backs. And, in one instance, Hoffmann’s one-on-one with Park, where she dodged the goalkeeper and had an open net, was stopped by a kneeling back.“It’s gonna break eventually. It’s just a matter of when,” Bradley said of her mindset in the second half. “We were jamming the middle of the circle a little bit too much.”That “break” didn’t come in the fourth quarter, or even the first overtime when the Orange tallied two shots on goal in only ten minutes. It came, finally, in the first minute of the second overtime.Freshman Hailey Bitters, collecting the ball near the sideline, cradled her way past two LU backs, entering the shooting circle. She floated a lofting pass to Graziosi, who was standing alone in front of goal. The Hauge, Netherlands native slapped her stick at the ball, which deflected off Park and into the open cage.The SU bench dashed onto the field and surrounded Graziosi, relieved that it avoided an upset to the unranked Leopards. “I think we just realized that we were playing…it’s our home opener, like we can’t lose,” de Vries said. Comments