Seventh-ranked Michigan State scored with less than two minutes to play, giving the Spartans a 3-2 victory over host Stanford on Monday.
The Cardinal (2-1) lost at home for the first time in two years.
Freshman Hope Burke scored in the first half to knot things up for Stanford. Fellow freshman Emily Henriksson crossed the ball into the middle and Burke punched it home.
Sophomore Kelsey Lloyd tied the game with her goal at the 54:38 mark.
Stanford outshot the Spartans, 18-10, including a 16-9 advantage in shot on goal. Senior midfielder Xanthe Travlos led the Cardinal with five shots on goal, while sophomore Becky Dru added four.
Stanford opens a three-game road trip Friday at Kent State.
"While this was a tough loss, I thought it was a well-played game against a quality opponent," Stanford coach Tara Danielson said. "Considering the style of play and overall structure we are asking this group to play, I couldn't ask them for anything more. The difference today was just being able to capitalize on our opportunities and I'm confident we will be able to do so moving forward."
Stanford's patient, ball-possession approach has yielded successful results so far through three games, as 13 different players have already tallied at least one point. That same type of balance kept the Cardinal in the game again on Monday, especially in the second half when Stanford outshot Michigan State 15-6 and owned a 10-2 edge in penalty corners.