Golden goal sends Stanford into NCAA water polo final | News | Palo Alto Online |

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Golden goal sends Stanford into NCAA water polo final

 
Ben Hallock scored the game winning goal Saturday. Photo by Jose Moreno and courtesy of Stanford Athletics.

Ben Hallock may have changed his cap number but he never changed his style, coming up big against the Trojans.

Hallock scored his third goal of the contest 11 seconds into the third overtime period to lift Stanford past USC 15-14 and into Sunday’s NCAA Men’s Water Polo championship contest.


Ben Hallock/Stanford Athletics
Quinn Woodhead, who had a team high five goals, scored with 19 seconds remaining in the second overtime to force the Golden Goal on Saturday in Stockton.

The Cardinal plays host Pacific at 3 p.m. Sunday for the national title. The Tigers advanced with a 17-12 victory over Pepperdine.

Tyler Abramson added four goals and Andrew Chun recorded 13 saves.

"Our team did a terrific job of staving off emotion until the finish when we needed it," said Abramson.

Bennett Williams won the sprint at the beginning of the third overtime and Stanford coach John Vargas immediately took a timeout to set up a play for Hallock, the reigning national Player of the Year.

"We were playing moment to moment," Vargas said. "It was about Ben making a play."

Hallock recently earned his second consecutive Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Player of the Year honor.

"We had a lot of confidence coming in," said Hallock, despite an earlier setback at USC this season.

USC scored three goals in the final 1:51 to send the game into overtime, including the game-tying goal with a second left.

Abramson scored twice in the final three minutes of the first half, giving Stanford a 7-6 halftime advantage.

The Cardinal also scored the first three goals of the third quarter, producing the game’s largest lead at 10-6.

Neither team led by more than one through two periods. The lead changed hands five times and was tied on eight other occasions overall.

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