USC falls to Bruins in double overtime

first_imgFollow us on Twitter @dailytrojan In a game extremely reminiscent of last year’s national championship game, the rivalry game could not be decided in regulation, and extra play was necessary.The back-and-forth affair ended with a Bruin goal in the second overtime, and UCLA celebrated a 10-9 victory in Westwood.The game could not have been more critical for both sides, with major Mountain Pacific Sports Federation implications on the line for both schools. In the end, however, UCLA’s home pool advantage proved to be too much for a Trojan squad that’s hit a rough patch as of late by losing three out of its last six matches.USC entered the matchup ranked fourth in the nation, but will almost certainly lose that spot and drop to the latter half of the top 10, an extremely unfamiliar spot for the national champions of the last five years.“A home crowd makes a huge difference,” redshirt junior driver Zach Lucas said when discussing the advantages of playing in friendly territory.Adding to the pressure of the game was the national attention it received. USC is used to having some of their water polo games broadcast on local stations or, if it’s a big game, the Pac-12 Networks. But the game against the Bruins was shown on ESPN’s college channel, ESPNU.The Bruins also had the added incentive of playing their last home game for a highly decorated senior class that is thirsty to take the MPSF crown away from the Trojans.“They were going all out,” Lucas added.Any loss to UCLA, or any other team for that matter, hurts tremendously, but a loss this close to NCAA tournament time makes the Trojans’ quest for a sixth straight national championship that much more difficult. Their seeding will take a huge hit, forcing them into tougher games early on.Their only hope for a sixth straight top seed in the NCAA Tournament will come from winning the MPSF tournament next week in Stockton, Calif., since the Trojans will be no higher than a No. 4 seed in the conference bracket. The matchups have yet to be determined, but USC will play its first tournament game on Friday, Nov. 29. The USC men’s water polo team ended their regular season with a heartbreaking loss to crosstown rival UCLA.Letdown · Senior driver Nikola Vavic has accomplished many things in his USC career, but couldn’t help the Trojans gut out a victory over UCLA. – Corey Marquitti | Daily Trojanlast_img read more