In front of a packed Avery Aquatic Center on a day that included Stanford Athletics Hall of Fame inductee Tony Azevedo back on The Farm, No. 5 Stanford and No. 2 USC staged an exciting men's water polo match in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation opener for both teams.
The Trojans came out on top, defeating the Cardinal, 8-4, in the MPSF showdown. Stanford moved to 5-1 on the season, while USC improved to 6-0 on the year.
Azevedo, a five-time Olympian and four-time College Player of the Year, received an extended standing ovation when introduced to the crowd.
USC opened with three goals in the first 6:02 of the match, but Stanford responded with a pair of scores in the first 1:51 of the second quarter to pull within one.
Junior Justin Roberto put the Cardinal on the board 27 seconds into the second period, and sophomore Blake Parrish punched in a score with 6:09 left in the half to pull Stanford within one goal (3-2).
A goal by USC's Marin Dasic just before halftime pushed the Trojans' advantage back to two scores at the half.
James Walters of USC provided the loan goal of the third quarter to give the Trojans a 5-2 lead heading into the final period.
Stanford and USC traded goals for the first five minutes of the fourth period, with Parrish added his second score of the match for the Cardinal.
Sophomore Mitchell Mendoza delivered a great pass across the pool to Bennett Williams, who found the back of the cage to make it 7-4 with 3:08 to play.
A Blake Edwards goal with less than a minute to play provided the final score of the match.
Junior Oliver Lewis played the entire match in goal for the Cardinal, registering 16 saves. USC goalie McQuin Baron posted six stops.
Trojans' coach Jovan Vavic earned his 500th career victory as a men's coach. He has 516 as the women's coach.
Stanford will return to action next weekend, competing in the MPSF Tournament in Berkeley