Freshman Shannon Aubert rose to the occasion and lifted the Stanford women's golf team with her on Friday at the NCAA St. George Regional in Utah.
Aubert shot a 2-under 69 to move into second on the individual leaderboard and the Cardinal matched leader USC with an 8-over on the day to move up three places into second, behind only the Trojans.
The top six teams advance to Saturday's final round.
Stanford was 12 shots better than its opening round and 28-over through 36 holes, five strokes clear of third-place Cal. USC paces the 18-team regional at 17-over.
"We had very little wind today, while yesterday it got up to 25 miles per hour on extremely difficult holes," Stanford coach Anne Walker said. "We also had a lot of rain overnight, so the greens were a bit more receptive today. We played well and stuck to our plan, which is a must on this golf course. I'm proud of our team. They played hard."
Aubert recorded four birdies against two bogeys on the par-71 layout of Entrada at Snow Canyon. Casey Danielson, who is tied for sixth after her 4-over 75, joins Aubert in the top 10.
Lauren Kim drained three birdies en route to a 3-over 74, a score matched by Quirine Eijkenboom. Eijkenboom was eight shots better than her opening round, and Mariah Stackhouse was seven shots better than first 18 with a 5-over 76.
Stanford never led its NCAA first-round game on Friday, but rallied twice, only for Florida to pull away for a 15-10 victory at Fetzer Field.
Junior midfielder Lucy Dikeou scored five goals in a strong all-around performance typical of her play, helping No. 16 Stanford finish 15-3 and tie the school-record for fewest losses in a season.
Stanford cut a 9-4 halftime deficit to 9-8 on Dikeou's fourth goal of the game, with 16:28 left. But No. 10 Florida (15-5) countered with five consecutive goals to distance itself in a matchup of the nation's two highest-scoring teams.
Dikeou scored Stanford's final goal, on a free-position shot, set up by her own open-field interception and length-of-the-field run. Dikeou had six groundballs, caused three turnovers, and had an assist and a draw control. She matched Florida's Shannon Gilroy, one of five finalists for the Tewaaraton Award as collegiate lacrosse's top player, as the game's leading goal-scorer.
"You need big players to play big in big games," Stanford coach Amy Bokker said. "Lucy definitely did that."
Dikeou's draw control early in the second half was her 64th of the season, breaking a school record she shared with former teammate Megan Lerner (2013). Also, Dikeou's 48 goals tied Ozer's 2013 total for the fourth-highest ever at Stanford.
Stanford fell behind 3-0 before Hannah Farr scored 11 minutes into the game and Dikeou followed with two more to tie it up, 3-3. But Florida broke open the defense with a flurry of four goals in only 27 seconds during a 5-0 run that put the Gators in front to stay.
Though Stanford entered the game as the national leader in draw controls, Florida dominated that category, 18-9. It was only the third time Stanford had lost the draw matchup all season.
Out of the second half draw, Dikeou picked up a groundball and made a half-field run into the fan, drawing defenders before making a quick pass to Mackenzie Tesei who caught and shot in one motion. Her goal sparked a Cardinal second-half surge. Moments later, Dikeou flat-out beat a defender one-on-one and tore across the crease to cut the deficit to 9-8. But Stanford would draw no closer.
"We came out of halftime with a good plan," Bokker said. "Florida's a really fast and athletic team and it was definitely hard to match that. I think we ran out of a little bit of gas because we had to play our higher pressure defense. We had debates on whether to stay in it or go back into the original defense, but we were finding success with it, so ultimately we decided to stay in it. It tired us out in the end."
Thus ended the collegiate careers of six seniors Farr, Kyle Fraser, Rachel Kalick, Meredith Kalinowski, Chinna O'Suji, and Emily Newstrom --- and graduate student Rachel Ozer. Farr was a four-time All-Mountain Pacific Sports Federation first-team selection, the 2014 conference player of the year, a two-sport starter (along with soccer), and a 2014 All-America. Kalinowski shared captain duties with Farr and junior Meg Lentz. Each senior made an impact far beyond their four-year resume of a 51-24 record, three NCAA appearances and two MPSF titles.
"I just commended them on their leadership," Bokker said of her postgame message. "This group of seniors did a great job leading this team with motivation, with drive, with determination. I was really proud of our senior class. They really put the program in a good position for the future."
With an early-second half goal, Ozer finished among Stanford's all-time leaders in points (192, third), assists (65, third), and goals (127, sixth).
The native of Moraga, California, graduated last spring with a degree in atmosphere and energy systems and will earn her master's this summer in mechanical engineering. She was Stanford's first Bay Area recruit on a team that now has five.
Now, it's Ozer's turn, along with the other seniors, to leave legacy for others to follow.
Kyle Davis tossed a shutout and AJ Ramirez homered in the third to lead USC past the Stanford baseball team, 1-0, in the opener of a three-game set at Dedeaux Field Friday night.
Stanford (20-26, 6-15 Pac-12) put four runners in scoring position against Davis (2-1), who was an all-conference reliever in 2014. The right-hander, making his second start of 2015, surrendered only six base hits and struck out 10.
Tommy Edman had a game-high three hits and was the only Stanford player to reach third when the Cardinal loaded the bases in the ninth. He led off the frame with a single up the middle and Zach Hoffpauir followed with the same. After two outs and a walk to Quinn Brodey, Alex Dunlap went down swinging to end the threat and the game.
Kayla Bonstrom had two hits and drove in three runs, Kylie Sorenson took a shutout into the sixth inning but Stanford could not hold on for the second straight day, dropping a 4-3 decision to host California in walkoff fashion Friday in Pac-12 play.
Bonstrom broke a scoreless tie with her 13th home run of the season, and the 25th of her career, leading off the sixth.
The 19th-ranked Bears took the lead in the bottom of the sixth but Bonstrom responded with a two-run double in the seventh.
Stanford and Cal complete the regular season with a noon game in Berkeley on Saturday.