first_imgThe No. 2 USC women’s water polo team does not believe in talking for talk’s sake.Accordingly, when the Women of Troy declared that they wanted to get off to a better start and play a more complete game against UC Irvine, you had no choice but to believe them. This past Saturday, the Women of Troy backed up their talk, beating No. 11 UC Irvine 15-5.On the strength of senior goalie Tumua Anae’s continued brilliance in goal and senior drivers Alexandra Kiss’ and Kally Lucas’ hat tricks, the Women of Troy derived much more satisfaction from this effort.Although the Anteaters scored the first goal of the game, their hopes of winning were dashed quickly as the Women of Troy scored nine of the next 10 goals. All told, eight different players scored at least one goal — a scoring balance that has been a staple of this team thus far.In the box score, this was another lopsided victory, as has been the case for all of the team’s wins this year. Afterwards, USC coach Jovan Vavic compared the match favorably to last week’s victory over Loyola Marymount.“Our defense was better. We were more focused and executed better,” Vavic said. “We did a good job on 5-on-6 defense and improved our scoring 6-on-5. Overall, there was better focus on their part.”In terms of execution, nowhere was this more apparent than in Kiss’ and Lucas’ statistics. The two scored on a combined six of their seven shots.Heading into this game, “focus” was the buzzword. The Women of Troy, indisputably a much more talented team on paper, did not want to make it a habit of playing down to the skill level of their opponents. To avoid the complacency problem that besets so many powerhouse teams, Vavic and team leaders made certain that the players knew they must play all four quarters with the same sense of desperation and intensity. For this game at least, the message resonated with the women.The USC women’s water polo team will face Hawaii at McDonald’s Swim Stadium this Thursday at 5 p.m. The Women of Troy will look for another solid all-around performance before heading to UC Irvine again for the crucial UC Irvine Invitational. A clash with No. 1 Stanford is possible as both teams will be favored to reach the finals of the annual tournament.last_img

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