Stanford women miss mark in upset shot at No. 1 USC


Stanford pulled to within two of top-ranked USC midway through the third quarter, but the Trojans scored four of the game's final five goals to beat the No. 3 Cardinal women's water polo team, 8-3, on Saturday afternoon at Avery Aquatic Center.

The loss, which snapped Stanford's eight-game win streak, was also the Cardinal's first regular-season league defeat since 2009. Stanford (19-3, 4-1 MPSF) had won a conference-record 43 consecutive MPSF contests.

USC (20-0, 5-0 MPSF) scored the game's first three before Anna Yelizarova got Stanford on the board with 4:48 on the clock in the second quarter, depositing her lob to the top right corner past Trojan goalkeeper Amanda Longan.

The deficit was stretched back to three when Stephania Haralabidis scored her first of two third-quarter goals less than three minutes into the period. A double exclusion followed by another whistle on Stanford gave USC a 5-on-4 opportunity and Haralabidis' attempt was blocked and deflected into the cage near post past Julia Hermann.

Kat Klass made it 4-2 on Stanford's next possession. From inside, Shannon Cleary passed it back up top to Jamie Neushul. Neushul lobbed it far post to the Cardinal freshman who guided it in with 4:55 remaining in the period.

Haralabidis put home another power-play goal at 2:38, going top shelf from five-meters out.

Stanford had a few additional chances in the third. At 2:13 Klass' shot was tipped and deflected off the bar and at 1:11 her skip shot was tipped and saved by Longan. Early in the frame, Gurpreet Sohi fed Katie Dudley inside at two-meters, but Dudley's back-handed attempt hit the bar and bounced out.

Brianna Daboub (7:26) made it 6-2 USC early in the fourth quarter and Hayley McKelvey completed her hat trick with 6:34 left in the game on a lob up and over Hermann.

Jordan Raney, sitting to the left of the cage, scored from five-meters with 5:26 to go for her 16th goal of the season.

Julia Hermann made seven saves for Stanford, which was also unable to convert its man-up chances, going 0-for-7.

Seniors Rachel Johnson, Gurpreet Sohi and Anna Yelizarova were honored in a pregame ceremony. The group has led Stanford to a 98-9 record and a pair of national championships during their time on The Farm.

The Cardinal concludes its regular season next Saturday at No. 2 UCLA at 11:30 a.m. in a game televised on Pac-12 Bay Area and Pac-12 Los Angeles.

— Stanford Athletics

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