Trojans Obliterate Bruins in the Pool

USC women’s water polo destroys UCLA for another NCAA title

The top-seeded Trojans rewrite the record books with an 18-9 humiliation over their third-seeded rivals

OC Register staff  —  LOS ANGELES — The USC women’s water polo team left no doubt who rules the pool now.

The top-seeded Trojans crushed third-seeded rival UCLA, 18-9, for their seventh national title on Sunday at UCLA’s Spieker Aquatics Center – setting records for the most goals scored and the largest margin of victory (the previous mark was only four) ever in an NCAA women’s water polo championship match.

Redshirt seniors Maud Megens (six goals, three assists) and Holly Parker (left; career-high 13 saves) set the tone on both ends in a well-balanced effort for the Trojans (22-1 overall), who avenged their only loss of the season. Parker kept UCLA’s leading scorer Hannah Palmer without a goal.

The national title is the university’s 109th NCAA team championship (132nd, including non-NCAA titles), coming just one week after the USC women’s beach volleyball team bested UCLA to win its national title in Gulf Shores, Alabama.

USC never trailed on Sunday, turning a one-goal game in the first period into a 10-goal advantage by the fourth as the Trojans took total control in the second period. The Trojans led 3-2 in the first, then used a six-goal surge to establish control of the match. USC led 10-5 at halftime, already tying the mark for the most goals scored by a winner in an NCAA final. Bayley Weber, Mireia Guiral, Verica Bakoc and Megens all had two goals by halftime.

UCLA (15-5) scored first in the second half, but the Trojans used a four-goal flurry to extend their lead to 14-6. Bakoc, Weber and Megens scored their third goals during that surge, while Kelsey McIntosh scored her first. UCLA converted on a 5-meter penalty shot in the final minute of the third period before Megens buried her fourth goal to make it 15-7 USC entering the fourth.

Megens (left) added back-to-back goals in the final period, and Bakoc’s fourth pushed the margin to 18-7 with 1:42 left.

Abbi Hill had three goals and two assists to lead UCLA, while Ava Johnson added two.

“They were pretty much lights out,” UCLA head coach Adam Wright said.

USC’s Megens was named NCAA Tournament MVP, while Denise Mammolito and Parker were named to the all-tournament first team. UCLA’s Brooke Maxson and Ava Johnson were also named to the first team.

USC lost to Stanford, 9-8, in the 2019 national championship after having defeated the Cardinal in the 2018 national championship. There was no 2020 season because of the COVID-19 pandemic.


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Genius Member
May 17, 2021 7:31 pm

Hard to believe that incompetent buffoon is raking in that kind of money. He is as overpaid as Larry (soon to be replaced ) Scott.
Nice going Lynn, you absolutely destroyed your legacy.

Terrific Tommy
May 17, 2021 6:41 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

And there’s the “ying & yang’ of it Allan IMO, with say a Saban or Stoops level coach, we’d need to pony up roughly twice that amount..

For a benchmark, do yoi know what Lou Fickle is currently being paid? I’m merely hoping it’s not close to that amount.

May 17, 2021 7:57 pm
Reply to  Terrific Tommy

Here’s a weird thought – USC is “woke” and it’s next head football coach is going to be African American. There also happens to be a African American assistant head coach at USC right now that has ambitions to move up the ladder. I’m guessing DW would take the position and salary without thinking twice.

Noble Genius
May 17, 2021 11:35 am

This story was almost hidden in the San Bernardino Sun (owned by the OC Register) front lawn edition. I found it on the last page just before the classified ads and wondered why winning an NCAA national championship was not important. I think there are Bruins on staff at the paper. IF by some miracle we were to have a good year in football, (and that means beating both Ucla and ND) I half expect the paper to carry the story in the classified section under the ” Football Coach Wanted” ad posted by Ucla.

May 17, 2021 9:17 am

The Women of Troy defeat the little gutties again for an NCAA National Championship. We beat them on the beach volleyball courts and we beat them in the pool in the sport of water polo. How proud can you be of the Women of Troy? This is awesome. I know it does not put butts in the seats at the Coli, but to beat UCLA in anything puts a smile on a Trojan’s face. Fight on Women of Troy!

Golden Trojan
Noble Genius
May 18, 2021 6:24 am
Reply to  danielmcd1

Marko Pintaric has had no trouble taking over for the WP Legend Jovan Vavic. Vavic sure screwed the pooch with his involvement in Varsity Blues. Nice to see USC move on nicely. Great week for the Women of Troy, beach volleyball, water polo and track and field. Fight On!