ASU water polo upsets USC in first round of MPSFs
The ASU water polo team upset USC in an intense sudden death overtime battle in the first round of the MPSF championships.
The Sun Devils and the Trojans kept things tight the entire game, scoring points back-to-back on both sides.
Junior defender Ao Gao started things off by scoring the first goal of the game.
USC followed closely and scored three goals in the first quarter to take a 3-1 lead.
In the second quarter, freshman attacker Izabella Chiappini scored three goals in a row to give ASU a 4-3 lead at the half.
At the start of the second half, Gao scored another goal to make it 5-3 ASU.
USC did not let up and scored two more goals to tie the game at five.
Right before the end of the third quarter, freshman center Alkistis Benekou scored to give the Sun Devils a 6-5 lead.
The goal scoring continued to go back and forth in the fourth quarter, with USC scoring first to tie and junior attacker Petra Pardi following with a goal to give ASU a 7-6 lead.
With three minutes left in the game, redshirt sophomore E.B. Keeve made several saves and gave up one goal to allow USC to tie the game.
Both teams scored a goal a piece to keep the game tied as time in the fourth quarter ran out.
At the start of the first overtime period, Gao scored right away to give ASU a 9-8 lead.
That lead remained through the first period of overtime. At the start of the second period, USC scored right away to tie the game at nine a piece.
Neither team scored in the time remaining and the game headed to sudden death overtime with the first team to score winning the game.
Keeve saved USC’s shot attempt and the Sun Devils got the ball away from the USC goalie.
With an open net, Chiappini scored to take the victory for ASU.
The win was an upset, as USC was the No. 3 seed in the tournament.
ASU advances to the semifinals tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. against UCLA.
Reach the reporter at Megan.Kavy@asu.edu or follow her on Twitter @meggiekavy