Castilleja grad Lindsay Taylor scored two second-half goals to rally No. 1 Stanford to a 2-1 victory over Oregon State on Friday night and clinch its third consecutive Pac-12 women's soccer championship in Corvallis, Ore.
Falling behind for only the second time this season, after a fourth-minute goal by Oregon State's Jenna Richardson, Stanford came back on the strength of scores in the 54th and 65th minutes by Taylor, the Pac-12's leading scorer.
The victory ensured an eighth Pac-12 championship for Stanford (17-0-1 overall, 9-0 Pac-12), which has two matches left. Nationally No. 19 Oregon State dropped to 12-5-1 and 6-3.
It the third consecutive two-goal performance for Taylor, who scored her 15th and 16th goals of the year, matching her single-season high set during her first-team All-America season of 2008.
Taylor has scored eight goals in her past five matches and pulled into a tie with Marcia Wallis (1999-2002) and Erin Martin (1993-96) for fifth on Stanford's career goals list, with 49.
Alex McCawley, Hope Burke and Shannon Herold each scored a goal as the Stanford women downed host Michigan State, 3-0, in a nonconference contest Friday.
The ninth-ranked Cardinal (14-2) hopes to continue to add to its postseason legitimacy Sunday when it meets host Michigan, ranked seventh in the nation, in the regular-season finale.
Herold scored her first career goal with under five minutes left to play to cap the win and support Ale Moss' effort in goal. She recorded six saves.
Stanford needs three wins to tie the school record for most victories in a season. That could happen in the NorPac tournament, which will be held at Stanford next weekend.
Naionally No. 5 Stanford snapped a two-match skid to USC by sweeping the No. 4 Trojans, 25-18, 25-14, 25-23, Friday, at Maples Pavilion. The Cardinal improves to 17-3 overall and 11-3 in the Pac-12. The Trojans, who saw their 12-match win streak come to an end, drop to 17-4 overall and 12-2 in the conference.
Sophomores Rachel Williams and Carly Wopat led the team in the win. Williams posted her 12th double-double of the year with 14 kills and 13 digs. Wopat hit a season-best .611 (11-0-18) while also recording eight blocks. Junior Hayley Spelman added nine kills and two blocks, while redshirt freshman Lydia Bai posted eight kills and five blocks. Junior setter Karissa Cook controlled the offense with 41 assists while collecting 12 digs for her conference-leading 13th double-double of the season.
Defensively, Stanford registered 13 blocks to just four by USC. Both teams posted 54 digs. Junior libero Hannah Benjamin tallied 12 digs for Stanford, marking her 14th game of the season with double-digit digs. As a team, the Cardinal hit .339, while holding the Trojans to a .161 clip. USC entered the match with the highest team hitting percentage in the Pac-12 (.284).
Stanford remains undefeated at home with an 11-0 record. Junior middle blocker Jessica Walker suffered an injury in practice this week and did not warm up with the team. She is listed as day-to-day.
Stanford closes out the weekend against No. 6 UCLA on Saturday at 7 p.m.