After rising to a No. 3 rank, the women’s water polo team will look to add its third-straight title victory at the Barbara Kalbus Invitation this weekend. The Trojans have won the last two years’ tournaments, which have been hosted by UC Irvine. Photo by Emily Smith | Daily TrojanOver three days, the team will have the chance to face four opponents, including top competitors such as No. 1 Stanford, No. 2 Cal and No. 4 UCLA. The tournament is a chance for the top teams in the MPSF and the nation to face off. From year to year, it is a consistently competitive weekend, but this year, the tournament will feature 16 top-20 teams, providing a truly elite lineup of competition.The weekend for the Trojans will start out with a matchup against San Jose State on Friday. The No. 18 team will provide a solid challenge to begin the weekend, but the team’s eyes will be set on the second game of the tourney. A win over San Jose State would result in a game against the winner of the opening game between No. 6 Arizona State and No. 15 UC San Diego on Saturday. An opportunity to face the Sun Devils this early in the tournament would be a welcome trial for the Trojans, who often duel with them in the MPSF tournament.A pair of opening victories would give the Trojans a berth into the semifinal game on Saturday night. The ultimate goal of the tournament is to reach the championship game on Sunday, which could set the team against any of its in-state foes. The Trojans already took down the Bruins in a 6-4 victory in the title game of the Triton Invitational two weeks ago. The win gave the Trojans their fifth-straight championship in the tournament, highlighted by two goals from standout freshman driver Paige Hauschild, who scored the final goal to clinch the 2-point advantage. Hauschild went on to win MPSF Newcomer of the Week following her performance in the tournament. The award was her second in only six weeks of NCAA play.Although the Trojans took home the title thanks to a ferocious offensive effort — with senior captain driver Brianna Daboub notching her 100th career goal in the semifinal victory over UC Irvine — it was the defense that held down the championship for USC. Goalkeepers senior Victoria Chamorro and junior Amanda Longan split time in the net, with Chamorro earning 27 saves on the weekend and Longan picking up 23 in the semifinal and championship match.A similar defensive effort will be necessary for the Trojans this weekend, as they will most likely face off against two of the top four teams in the nation. The team has yet to face Cal and Stanford so far this season, but all three teams are well-acquainted as they will play each other a handful of times in regular season games and tournaments, as well as in the MPSF and NCAA tournaments. The matchups are not set in stone yet, but the Trojans can expect a challenge no matter which of their in-state rivals they face at the finish line.
Matt Liberman (1-0)Legion of whom?Syracuse 58, Wagner 13The Wagner Seahawks’ secondary is not exactly the Seattle Seahawks. If Syracuse has any trouble on Saturday whatsoever, SU fans should be concerned. Wagner, an FCS team, won its first matchup this season against Division II Bowie State, 40-23. If Bowie State can drop 23 on Wagner, assume that an Eric Dungey-led offense can score at least 50 on the Seahawks as it scored 55 against Western Michigan. Syracuse simply has far superior athletes and greater talent on its squad. This shouldn’t be a close matchup. Expect Tommy DeVito to see a good amount of time with the first unit as Syracuse will likely jump out to a huge lead. And expect SU to spread the ball around more on offense. Perhaps Devin Butler and Ravian Pierce will get a good amount of throws their way to incorporate someone into the passing offense beside Jamal Custis. This game is a tune up for FSU. Published on September 5, 2018 at 10:12 pm Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Syracuse returns for its home opener coming off a 55-42 win over Western Michigan in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Eric Dungey set an ACC rushing record for a quarterback, the defense almost collapsed in the third quarter and the Orange held on to start the season with a W.Wagner comes to the Carrier Dome off a win over Division II Bowie State, 40-23. Last season, the Seahawks played one FBS opponent, WMU, and lost, 49-14.Here’s what our beat writers expect to happen Saturday.Andrew Graham (1-0)AnnihilationSyracuse 52, Wagner 17On Tuesday, Syracuse quarterback Eric Dungey said he wants to “annihilate” teams the rest of the year, starting with Wagner. Long term, we’ll check back on how the annihilation is going, but at least on Saturday, Dungey will get his wish. Syracuse did allow Western Michigan back into a done-deal, but the Seahawks are a different story. Wagner, an FCS team, won its opener against Bowie State, a Division II team, by 17 at home. In that game, Wagner leaned on running back Ryan Fulse for 280 yards and three touchdowns. Against an ACC front seven, I doubt Fulse finds the same success. For Syracuse, look for someone other than Jamal Custis to catch passes and someone other than — or more aptly, alongside — Dungey to run the football as the Orange tunes up to host Florida State.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textJosh Schafer (1-0)“Rock me mama like a wagon wheel”Syracuse 48, Wagner 10A week after scoring 55 points against a Mid-American Conference team, Syracuse’s offense shouldn’t struggle against Wagner. The Seahawks played one FBS opponent a year ago, Western Michigan, and lost 49-14. A week ago, Syracuse totaled 560 yards on 88 plays. History indicates a similar display on Saturday. In 2016, when Syracuse hosted FCS opponent Colgate, the Orange totaled 554 yards on 81 plays in a 33-7 victory. In 2017, SU trounced FCS school Central Connecticut State 50-7 behind 586 yards on 93 plays. The offense will be there. Against an FCS school, the defense should be there. And the Orange will pick up its second-straight win headed into a week three matchup against Florida State.
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