No. 4 USC falls to No. 1 UCLA in Westwood

first_imgThe annual crosstown showdown started out in a tight battle, but USC could not hang with the Bruins in a game that they dominated. The No. 4 Trojans traveled to Westwood looking to upset the No. 1 ranked Bruins. The Trojans lost their upset bid by a score of 11-6.Rain could not deter the Trojan faithful from coming to support, and a sold-out stadium overflowed into the upper levels of a nearby parking structure.Early on, the action was fierce. UCLA opened with an offense barrage, but sophomore goalie McQuin Baron opened with three straight saves.The Trojans got on the board first though with a dynamic backhanded goal. On the next possession driver Blake Edwards would score and give the Trojans a two-goal lead. The Bruins would answer on their next two possessions to tie the game at two goals apiece halfway through the first period.UCLA scored twice more in a first period that saw six total goals.The Men of Troy struggled to get their offense going in the second period, failing to convert back-to-back power plays. UCLA goalkeeper junior Garrett Danner would finish the game with 19 saves, with 10 of them coming in the first half.Danner was a force USC could not reckon with and Danner set his new career high in saves.The Trojans were held scoreless in the second period and gave up two goals to fall behind 6-2 at halftime. The first half was a story of missed opportunities for the Trojans, who failed to convert on any of their five power plays, while UCLA scored on both of theirs.Despite the scores for UCLA, Baron had seven saves in the first half on his way to recording nine saves.The Trojans would open the second half winning the opening sprint, but UCLA sophomore Max Irving would net his second goal of the game giving the Bruins a 7-2 lead.Sophomore Mihajlo Milicevic would end the Trojans scoring drought of over 10 minutes with a goal three minutes into the third period. The Trojans’ momentum would not last long though, with UCLA junior Ryder Roberts answering the goal to maintain the five-goal lead for the Bruins.Two more goals before the end of the third period put UCLA 10 goals up. Sophomore Matteo Morelli made it 10-4 to end the third quarter.The story of the game could be summed up in a Trojan power play shot in the fourth quarter that entered the goal but did not hit the net and was saved by UCLA.The Bruins would go one to score another goal in the fourth period to finish with 11.Blake Edwards converted a five-meter penalty shot for USC with less than two minutes remaining to make it 11-5.Freshman Chase Koplow hit the game’s final goal for the Trojans as time expired to take the score to its final at     11-6.The Bruins were led by Roberts who finished the day with four goals.USC’s was led by two goals from Blake Edwards and one each for Lachlan Edwards, Milicevic and Morelli on a day when the Trojans’s high-powered offense was stopped in its tracks.The Trojans’ record moves to 18-5 overall and 6-3 in MPSF conference play. The loss is the Trojans second of the year to the Bruins with the first coming in the finals of the SoCal invitational by a score of 10-9.Next week, the Trojans will fight for the MPSF championship in a tournament hosted at the Uytengsu Aquatic Center.last_img read more

Read more

Cool under fire: UW’s Stave no stranger to spotlight

first_imgRedshirt freshman Joel Stave was impressive in his first start against UTEP Saturday, completing 12 passes for 210 yards and a touchdown.[/media-credit]Joel Stave knows about being in pressure-filled situations.Last April, the Badgers’ redshirt freshman took the stage in front of a large audience at the 2012 “Buckinghams,” a formal event that showcases student-athletes’ talents off the field and honors success academically and athletically.Playing and singing a rousing rendition of Train’s “Drops of Jupiter” on the piano, Stave showed the cool and collectedness any student who was ever forced into taking piano lessons by their parents knows is necessary to succeed at a recital.In fact, it’s that same confidence Stave has transitioned to the huddle that has impressed center Travis Frederick.“He’s the same player no matter what the atmosphere or what the tension,” Frederick said. “If it’s third and long or first and ten or you’re losing by three or you need a touchdown, they just scored, he’s the same guy. He always just comes to the huddle, he’s very calm, he calls the play and goes and plays.”Offensive coordinator Matt Canada has taken note as well.“He’s been pretty steady to be honest,” Canada said. “He’s a guy that has some pretty good poise about him. If you want to play you got to be that guy.”So maybe it comes as no surprise Stave has already eased his way into the starting role at quarterback for the Badgers. Replacing embattled redshirt junior Danny O’Brien in the second half against Utah State less than two weeks ago, Stave has been a sound game-manager under center so far for a Wisconsin team in desperate need of consistency on offense.Stave is quick to point out he’s benefited from Frederick’s experience in the trenches, as the redshirt junior center helps point out blitz pickups and looks the quarterback doesn’t initially recognize.“That helps out a ton, him making calls and stuff,” Stave said. “If it’s something that I’m not completely sure on, if he makes the call, I can trust in what he’s doing and once he makes it I can see what he’s thinking. He’s really smart, knows what he’s doing and I have a lot of faith in him.”And although Badger fans may have found renewed faith in Stave in the starting role after his performance against UTEP – 12-of-17 for 210 yards passing and a touchdown – the golden-haired quarterback will face his first true test this Saturday night on the road at Nebraska.But Stave gained experience last season traveling with the team and watching former UW quarterback Russell Wilson play in the tough environments of East Lansing, Mich., and Columbus, Ohio, in primetime matchups and how he kept composed under such straining conditions.“That really helped, just seeing how Russell responded and stay[ed] composed,” Stave said. “Seeing him out there, it looks like a lot of fun. Obviously it doesn’t look easy with all the crowd noise and everything, but you just have to block that out and stay focused.”One way Wisconsin prepares itself for road tests is by practicing with the Camp Randall speakers blaring crowd noise, deafening the players to stimulate hostile environments. The noise was already audible Tuesday, as the college football mecca echoed loud cheers and screams. Stave knows as a quarterback he’ll have to be louder and make an emphasis on communication.Yet Stave has never played a game at Nebraska’s Memorial Stadium, where a fanbase packs the seats that finds football more a religion than a sport.The last time Stave was the starting quarterback in a road game? Try 2010, as a high school senior in Wisconsin leading Whitnall High School in a playoff game against top-seeded Franklin High School.“I wouldn’t guess it’s going to be as tough (to play at) as where we’re going this week, but it was really windy so it wasn’t an easy place to play,” Stave joked. “None of [the high school road games] were super tough. No place with 90,000 people right on top of you. I don’t know, Greendale was kind of tough to play.”The looseness Stave exhibits is contagious. And while he appears eager and thrilled to have the chance to perform on national television, including a chance for a friend who lives in Florida to watch him, Stave attributes a part of his ability to block out nerve and anxiety to his performance under the spotlight as a musician.“It does kind of make you try to block out everybody else and just focus on what you’re doing, regardless of if you’re playing football or if you’re singing in front of people because that’s obviously something that is not super comfortable for me,” Stave said. “I mean, I feel a lot more comfortable playing football than I do singing to a group.”So the quarterback really feels more nervous about performing than he would, say, starting on the road in Nebraska?“I’d say so,” Stave said.Somebody mentions that there isn’t much of a chance of getting hit while playing the piano.“That’s true,” Stave laughed. “But I mean, a voice crack or something in front of a lot of people would be pretty bad.”Follow Nick on Twitterlast_img read more

Read more