Stanford grads Brenda Villa and Lolo Silver and each scored a goal to help the United States women's national water polo team reach the semifinals of the FINA World League Super Final with an 8-6 victory over Canada in Tianjin, China on Friday.
Current Stanford players Melissa Seidemann and Annika Dries also scored for the U.S., which meets host China on Saturday.
The Canadians scored first but the U.S. responded with four unanswered goals, including one from Villa early in the second quarter that made it 4-1.
"Besides the penalties we gave up, we were excellent defensively," U.S. coach Adam Krikorian said. "We are pleased to make it to the semis but realize that we have a difficult task ahead against the Australians."
Dries and Seidemann each scored in the third period and Silver added the final goal in the fourth quarter.
"Games between us are always so competitive," American goalkeeper Betsy Armstrong said. "We are huge rivals. This year is pretty big and we want to get as much experience as we can. We have really found our game on defense. It's a lot tighter than we have been at this tournament. We have given up some penalties but the rest of the defense has been good. We need just some minor adjustments."
In other quarterfinals, Italy upset Russia, 22-21, in a sudden death shootout, Australia beat Greece, 10-8, and China edged Spain, 13-12, in a shootout.
Stanford junior Jenna Rich was not among the chosen 18 for the U.S. national team when the final roster was announced Friday.
Cardinal senior Ashley Hansen, the ASA National Player of the Year in the spring, decided to take the summer off after playing for the U.S. last year.
Former national team members and Stanford grads Jessica Mendoza, Alissa Haber and Lauren Lappin currently play for the Florida-based USSSA Pride in the National Professional League.
The Pride (2-3) looks to end a three-game losing streak when they meet the host Chicago Bandits at Rosemont Stadium on Friday night.
Mendoza opened the season with four hits in her first seven at bats, but is 0-for-9 since. Haber has appeared in two games, one as a pinchrunner. Lauren Lappin divides her time between second base and catcher.
Stanford clinched the Division I Learfield Sports Directors' Cup with 1526 3/4 total points it was announced Friday.
Although baseball points will be added, the Cardinal has more than enough to capture its 17th consecutive Cup. The final standings will be released after the College World Series.
Stanford recently finished second in women's rowing, sixth in men's outdoor track and field,
eighth in women's outdoor track and field, ninth in softball and 31st in men's golf.
Ohio State resides in second place with 1277 1/4 points. The Buckeyes had results of fifth in men's golf, 10th in women's rowing and 26th in women's outdoor track and field.
In third place, with 1171 1/2 points, is Duke. The Blue Devils recorded points by finishing third in men's golf, 16th in women's outdoor track and field and 34th in men's outdoor track and field.
California moved into fourth with 1141 1/2 points. The Bears finished third in women's rowing, fifth in softball, 19th in men's golf, 25th in men's outdoor track and field and 65th in women's outdoor track and field.
California, with a team in the College World Series, will likely move past Duke and into third when the final standings are released June 30.