No. 3 USC Women’s Water Polo Stuck With 10-8 Loss At No. 4 Stanford

Courtesy: USC Athletics

STANFORD, CALIF. — The No. 3 USC women’s water polo team fell behind in the first half and was unable to pull off a comeback in a 10-8 road loss to No. 4 Stanford today at Avery Aquatic Center. It was a two-goal game at halftime before another Stanford surge put the Trojans in another hole, and USC wound up with its first MPSF loss to go to 15-5 overall and 2-1 in conference play.

USC struck first with a lovely lob from Julia Janov, only to see Stanford equalize on a 5-meter penalty shot to steal the momentum and shove off on a five-goal run. The Trojans snapped the rally with a fine finish from Rachel Gazzaniga off a 6-on-5 feed from Janov, but the Cardinal were granted another 5-meter look 30 seconds later. Down 6-2, USC found its scoring touch in the final two minutes of the half, with Ava Stryker blasting back-to-back goals to make it a 6-4 margin for halftime.

USC’s offense hit a snag in the third frame, however, while Stanford tacked up two goals to go up 8-4. The Cardinal claimed two more in the fourth, putting USC in a 10-4 hole with 4:20 to go. The Trojan defense stepped back up and silenced Stanford down the stretch, and the offense clicked off four goals from the hands of Morgan Netherton, Gazzaniga, Janov and Meghan McAninch, but time was not on USC’s side in the end.

USC has another MPSF matchup on tap this weekend, as the Trojans head to San José State for a 1 p.m. clash on Sunday (April 7).

– With two goals, FR Ava Stryker has now scored in USC’s last 14 games.
– Stryker leads USC in scoring this season with 40 goals.
– With two goals today, SR Julia Janov continues to lead the team in multiple-goal outings this season, now with 14.
– With goals today, Stryker and Janov have now each scored in a team-high 18 games this season.
– With eight saves today, SR Carolyne Stern now has 531 career saves, putting her seven stops away from ranking No. 4 all-time at USC.

#4 Stanford 10, #3 USC 8
April 6, 2024 | Stanford, Calif.
USC    1 – 3 – 0 – 4 = 8
STAN  4 – 2 – 2 – 2 = 10

USC — Julia Janov 2, Rachel Gazzaniga 2, Ava Stryker 2, Morgan NethertonMeghan McAninch.
STAN — Maggie Hawkins 3, Sophia Sanders 2, Sophie Wallace 2, Christina Hicks, Kamryn Barone, Skyler Jones.

SAVES: Carolyne Stern (USC) 8, Maya Avital (STAN) 5.

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