Stanford's Jillian Garton scored in the second overtime to help lift the top-ranked and undefeated Stanford women's water polo team to a 9-8 victory over host USC in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation match Saturday in front of a sellout crowd at the McDonald's Swim Stadium.
Garton skipped the winner off the bar and past USC goalie Flora Bolonyai to seal the win as the Cardinal (4-0, 19-0) overcame an early 4-1 deficit. Amber Oland recorded nine saves in the net to end the Women of Troy's home winning streak at 23 games.
Stanford scored the first two goals of the second half to grab a 5-4 lead and was ahead, 7-5, early in the fourth quarter.
USC forced overtime as Nadia Dan scored her third goal of the game and Kristen Dronberger whipped a no-look backhand shot past Oland to force overtime.
Menlo School grad Kim Krueger and USA national team member Annika Dries each scored twice for the Cardinal. Sacred Heart Prep grad Pallavi Menon also scored.
Stanford travels to UC Irvine for a noon contest on Sunday.
Each of the four times that Stanford has won the NCAA title, the Cardinal have preceded it with a conference title.
The second-ranked Cardinal hope this year will be no different. Stanford won the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation championship, beating No. 1 Oklahoma and No. 3 California in the process.
Stanford scored 362.250 to win the title, while second-place Oklahoma had 360.700 and Cal had 356.050 to place third. Nebraska (346.500) and Air Force (344.800) rounded out the scores.
The Cardinal got a complete effort on Saturday, led by the senior group of Alex Buscaglia, Josh Dixon, Tim Gentry and Ryan Lieberman.
Lieberman placed third in the all-around with a score of 88.400, but it was the depth of the team that enabled Stanford to score well in every event.
The Cardinal was particularly strong on the floor, still rings and the horizontal bar where it recorded the top scores.
Dixon led Stanford on the floor with a score of 15.700, while Eddie Penev scored 15.350. The duo was third and fourth overall in the event as Penev returning from injury made an immediate impact on the Cardinal team.
On the rings, Gentry won the meet with an outstanding score of 16.050, almost a half point higher than his closest competitors -- teammates James Fosco and Jordan Nolff. Fosco scored 15.600 and Nolff scored 15.350, while Nicholas Noone was eighth overall in the event and scored 15.100.
Brian Ragira had three hits, including a home run, and drove in seven runs as Stanford rebounded from a tough loss with a 22-3 victory over host Washington State in a Pac-10 Conference game Saturday.
Lonnie Kauppila had six hits and drove in four runs for the Cardinal (1-1, 12-7), which lost Friday's game, 10-8, after leading 8-0 going into the sixth inning.
Austin Wilson had four hits, including a home run, and drove in four runs, Menlo School grad Kenny Diekroeger added three hits and scored four runs, and Tyler Gaffney had two hits and drove in three runs. Zach Jones hit a three-run home run and Stephen Piscotty and Jake Stewart each had two hits.
Jordan Pries (4-1) probably enjoyed the run support even if he didn't need all of it. He lasted seven innings, allowing two runs on five hits. Pries walked two and struck out seven.
Elliott Byers pitched the final two innings for the Cardinal.
Stanford and the Cougars conclude the three-game series Sunday, with first pitch slated for noon.
Brad Lawson had 19 kills and Spencer McLachlin 16 to lead third-ranked Stanford to a 25-15, 26-28, 25-23, 25-20 victory over No. 13 Pepperdine in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation action before 1,268 at Maples Pavilion on Saturday.
Stanford (13-6, 17-7) got a second consecutive double-double from Lawson, who also had 10 digs Friday while helping keep the Cardinal remain in second in the loss column with three road matches remaining in the regular season.
Freshman middle blocker Eric Mochalski had a season-high 11 kills, without an error, for a .611 hitting percentage. It was his third errorless match this season.
Evan Barry had 50 assists and helped Stanford to a .305 hitting percentage and Erik Shoji led the defense with 13 digs.
If third-place Stanford maintains its position in the MPSF's top four, the Cardinal would play host to the first round of the conference tournament on April 23.
Sally Watson and Lila Barton each shot a team best 74 on the second day of the PING/ASU Invitational in Tempe on Saturday as Stanford dropped into seventh place with a team total of 590.
USC and UCLA share the lead, each at 565, heading into Sunday's final round at the par 72 Karsten Golf Course.
Sarah Hassman had two hits and scored a run but Stanford fell for the second straight day, dropping a 6-1 Pac-10 decision to visiting Arizona Saturday.
Ashley Chinn (11-1) suffered her first loss of the season as the Wildcats overcame a 1-0 deficit to win. Sunday's series finale is at noon.
Stanford finished in a fourth-place tie at the Michigan Regional and failed to qualify for the NCAA championships in Cleveland, which begin April 15.
Host Michigan won with a team score of 197.075 and Kent State recorded a 195.450 to finish second and claim spots in the finals.
Stanford, which counted a fall on the balance beam, finished with a 195.225 as Ashley Morgan was second in the floor exercise with a 9.900 and Shona Morgan was second on the balance beam with a 9.875.
Briar Woods High (Virginia) defensive back Alex Carter gave Stanford a verbal commitment while visiting on Junior Day.
"Hey, I committed to Stanford today," Carter told The Bootleg via text message.
Across two coasts, and after the first of two days of sailing, Stanford is in ninth at the Dellenbaugh Women's Intersectional in Rhode Island and seventh at the St. Francis coed race in the San Francisco Bay.
In Providence, Stanford is in ninth place of 17 teams at the women's race with 147 combined points after eight races.
With weather in the mid 50s with a scattering of showers, Sally Mace skippered the B Division to the sixth-best divisional score with 61 points, having an up and down day in which her team finished in the top-6 in five races, winning the fourth race, but also finishing in the lower half three times.
The A Division of Eliza Richartz and McKenzie Wilson are 12th in their division with 86 points.