Ben Hallock scored late in the first period to put Stanford ahead by three goals and the Cardinal maintained a multi-goal lead the rest of the way, beating host Pacific 13-8 in the NCAA Men’s Water Polo championship Sunday in Stockton.
Hallock and AJ Rossman each netted three goals to help top-ranked and top-seeded Stanford (21-1) win its first national title since 2002. The Cardinal was in its sixth championship match since then. Pacific was in its second title match.
"Most of the guys on the team were every aware of how how long it had been since we won," said Hallock, named MVP of the Championship. "The championship is a huge credit to the guys who came before us."
Andrew Chun had five saves and Tyler Abramson, Bennett Williams and Parker Killion each added two goals.
"I thought our defense was unbelievable," Chun said. "The amount of energy was amazing."
Abramson also contributed three assists and two steals. Rossman added two assists and Sacred Heart Prep alum Larsen Weigle added a pair of steals.
"To regroup the way we did after yesterday (beating USC in triple overtime) is really impressive," said Stanford coach John Vargas. "It's really a special group."
Stanford held a 10-3 advantage early in the third period and then worked the clock to claim its 11th overall title and giving Stanford an on-going NCAA record 44 consecutive academic years of at least one NCAA title.
Cardinal players said the national title would not have been possible without great support from assistant coaches Jon Barnea, Brandon Johnson and volunteer assistant Lea Mauer, plus the reserve players.
"It's the people who bring it every single day, keep us honest and challenge us," Tyler Abramson said.
Added Hallock, "Those guys bring an immense amount of energy in practice. That's so important to us."
Barnea and Johnson have been local water polo coaches in high school and at the club level for years. Mauer is a former swimmer and coach standout at Stanford.
Hallock played for Team USA in the 2016 Rio Olympics, but called this accomplishment bigger. Especially after losing to USC last year in the NCAA final.
"Personally, it means everything," said Hallock. "It's incredible."
Hallock and Abramson made first team all-tournament, while Rossman, Quinn Woodhead, Bennett Williams and Chun received second team honors.
Stanford will host the NCAA Championships in 2020.