Dani Jackovich posted a hat trick and Shannon Cleary and Kat Klass added two goals apiece, but a fourth-quarter charge from France downed the United States water polo team, 10-9, in Group B play at the World University Games in Gwangju, South Korea on Sunday.
Tied 7-7 heading into the fourth, Kat Klass scored off an assist from Jamie Neushul to give the United States an 8-7 edge with 7:39 left, but the French responded.
Aurore Sacre scored a power-play goal at 5:42 and Marie Barbieux closed out France's offensive output with a man-up score 3:52 and an even-strength tally at 3:01.
Neushul set up Madison Berggren on the counter with 48 seconds remaining and the United States had an opportunity coming out of a timeout with 15 ticks on the clock, but a turnover spoiled its chances of tying the game and securing a point.
Team USA raced out to a 3-1 lead in the first quarter on the arms of Jackovich (5:52), Neushul (5:34) and Cleary (3:35) and extended its advantage to 5-2 midway through the second period.
After Barbieux put home her second of the game to begin the frame, Jackovich answered for the United States with back-to-back goals at 5:34 and 4:49.
A timeout settled France, which scored twice heading into the break to pull to within one, 5-4.
The French scored three more times in the third quarter while the USA managed a pair of strikes from Cleary (7:29) and Klass (3:59) to set up the decisive fourth.
Gabby Stone made seven saves on 14 shots in three quarters of work in the cage while Cassie Wyckoff (Indiana) stopped two of the five shots she faced in the third.
The United States closes out Group B action on Tuesday, July 7 and Wednesday, July 8 with games against Hungary and Italy.
Stanford junior Akash Modi finished fifth in the all-around competition on Sunday at the World University Games in Gwangju, South Korea.
Modi scored an 86.700 to qualify for the individual championships,which get under way on Monday.
The USA synchronized diving team of Stanford's Bradley Christensen and partner Bryce Klein finished sixth in the 3-meter springboard event Sunday at the World University Games in Gwangju, South Korea.