Menlo School grad Scott Platshon recorded 16 saves to keep the Stanford men's water polo team within reach but it wasn't enough as top-ranked USC scored four times in the third period en route to a 9-6 victory over the Cardinal on Saturday.
The Trojans, who feature Palo Alto grad Will Simon as a backup goalie, remain undefeated on the season.
Fifth-ranked Stanford (0-1, 6-3) hopes to rebound next weekend on its trip to UC Santa Barbara on Saturday and to Pepperdine next Sunday. The Cardinal has split two games with the Gauchos, coached by former Stanford All-American Wolf Wigo.
Stanford led, 3-2, early in the second period and were within 5-4 early in the third period before USC (2-0, 15-0) went on its scoring spree.
Alex Bowen scored twice to lead the Cardinal, which has still won two of three, including a win over the Waves.
Stanford continued play at the Aggie Fall Invitational on Saturday afternoon, participating in its second team tournament of the year.
Menlo School grad Jamin Ball has reached the quarterfinal round of the Flight A division while Daniel Ho's run ended in the round of 16.
Ball and Trey Strobel are into the doubles title match of the Flight A division.
The doubles final of the Flight B division features an all-Stanford affair, with Maciek Romanowicz and Nolan Paige taking on Walker Kehrer and Anthony Tsodikov.
Play concludes Sunday afternoon.