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Stanford defeats USC Women’s Water Polo in the NCAA Championship Final

In today’s NCAA championship match in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the top-seeded Stanford Cardinal defeated the second-seeded University of Southern California Trojans with a score of 10-7. The Trojans leveled the game at 7-7 early in the fourth quarter and proceeded to make important defensive plays, led by goaltender Carolyne Stern’s career-high 13 saves, but Stanford scored on late opportunities as USC missed the mark. USC concludes the season with a 20-4 record after making its 18th consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

The Trojans never trailed in the first half due to their formidable defensive and offensive efforts. Mireia Guiral scored the Trojans’ first two goals, including her 100th career goal, around a Stanford penalty kick from 5 yards out. USC’s Alejandra Aznar scored a 6-on-5 goal for the Trojans, extending their lead to 3-1. Bayley Weber then thwarted a Stanford power play with her second of several field blocks that day. After eight minutes of play, the score was 3–2 in favor of USC. However, the Cardinal capitalized on its next opportunity to pull one back, and the score was 3–2 in favor of Stanford.

5:35 into the second period, Weber connected with Paige Hauschild to give USC a 4-2 lead, and the Trojan defense would quickly thwart two more Stanford 6-on-5s, with Honnie Vandeweghe-O’Shea making a steal and then Stern making a stop to preserve the two-goal advantage. Following two consecutive stops by Stern, Stanford was able to score from the post, resulting in a 4-3 USC advantage at halftime.

 

 

Written by Eren Kilic

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