Cardinal women get another chance at MPSF water polo title


Dani Jackovich and Jamie Neushul each scored twice and the third-ranked Stanford women's water polo team beat No. 2 UCLA, 6-3, in the semifinals of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation tournament at Cal State Bakersfield on Saturday.

Stanford (21-4) advances to Sunday's 2:30 p.m. championship contest against top-seeded and undefeated USC at 2:30 p.m.

Dani Jackovich
The Cardinal is searching for its sixth conference tournament title, following crowns in 2000, 2001, 2003, 2006 and 2014, in the program's 13th league championship appearance.

Against the Bruins, Stanford scored four times in the first half and didn't allow a second-half score to reverse last week's 9-8 loss to UCLA.

Up one at halftime, seven second-half saves from Julia Hermann and goals from Neushul and Jackovich advanced Stanford to the doorstep of another championship.

Hermann's 14 saves are the second-most in the redshirt sophomore's career. None of UCLA's 12 shots in the second-half found the back of the cage.

Stanford's redemptive effort started with a pair of first-quarter goals from Jordan Raney (3:38) and Neushul (1:56).

Tied 2-2 after one, Jackovich pushed the Cardinal ahead early in the second period off an assist from Shannon Cleary (7:06).

An offensive foul late in the quarter gave possession back to Stanford, which freshman Kat Klass took advantage of by scoring with just two seconds remaining in the half.

Sunday's championship will be the third meeting of the season for the Cardinal and Trojans. USC topped Stanford at the UC Irvine Invitational on Feb. 28, 7-6, and in MPSF play on April 16, 8-3.

— Stanford Athletics

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