Nov. 26, 2011
MPSF Championship Central
LOS ANGELES - Despite battling back from an early deficit to take a two-goal lead with eight minutes to play, fourth-seeded Stanford couldn't hang on as it dropped an 8-6 decision to top-seeded USC in the semifinals of the MPSF Championship in Los Angeles.
The Cardinal (19-6) led 6-4 heading into the final period against the Trojans Saturday. USC, though, would halve the Stanford lead just 20 seconds into the frame then tie things up with a 6-on-5 goal with 4;54 to play. The Trojans took the lead 43 seconds later off the arm of Jeremy Davie, then netted the final goal, again from Davie, with 1:04 remaining.
Forrest Watkins scored four times for Stanford Saturday, while Paul Rudolph and Travis Noll also found the back of the cage.
Senior goalie Brian Pingree made 10 saves against the Trojans.
Watkins scored the first two Cardinal goals as the teams traded scores over the first seven-plus minutes. USC would get the final say in the period as Davie found the net with 35 seconds left to put the Trojans up 3-2 in a high-scoring first frame.
Forest Monroe put USC up 4-2 just 32 seconds into the second period. Yet at that moment, when things could have gotten out of control for the it, the Cardinal dug deep and fired back as Noll netted his goal 17 seconds later.
Watkins posted his third goal just under two minutes later to pull Stanford even, then Rudolph tossed in an extra-man goal at 3:54 to edge the Cardinal ahead. Watkins' fourth goal of the game gave Stanford a 6-4 lead two minutes before halftime, and the score would remain that way as the teams entered the break.
The defenses took center stage in the third period, as neither team could crack the other's cage.
But eight minutes away from knocking off the tournament's top seed for the second straight season, Stanford's upset hopes crumbled. Nikola Vavic scored 20 seconds into the period, and Kostas Genidounias equalized minutes later. The Cardinal offense could not find an answer for the USC defense, begin held scoreless in the second half.
Stanford will take on California in a Big Splash rematch at 1:30 p.m. Sunday.
Stanford - 2 4 0 0 = 6
USC - 3 1 0 4 = 8
Stanford Goal Scorers: Watkins 4, Noll, Rudolph
USC Goal Scorers: Davie 3, Genidounias 2, Monroe, Vavic, Virjee
Goalie Saves: Pingree 10 (S); Dennerley 6 (USC)