UCI Invitational Central
IRVINE, Calif. - The top-ranked Stanford women's water polo team suffered its first setback of the 2010 season Sunday, as it was denied another UCI Invitational title in a 10-6 loss to No. 2 USC.
Stanford (12-1) will look ahead to a four-game weekend, first hosting San Diego State at 4 p.m. Friday and UC Irvine at 1 p.m. Saturday before heading to Davis where the Cardinal will meet UC Davis and CS Bakersfield on Sunday.
The Cardinal opened the day with a 10-4 victory over No. 3 UCLA in the semifinal round, but fell to USC later in the day, missing an opportunity for a second straight UCI Invitational title.
Sunday's action started favorably for the Cardinal, as the team got out to a 5-1 halftime lead. The advantage increased to five at 7-2 by the end of the third period before the Cardinal outscored the Bruins, 3-2, in the final frame to provide for the final 10-4 margin.
Kelsey Holshouser, Kim Krueger and Jessica Steffens each scored twice in the victory, while additional goals were netted by Kelly Eaton, Alyssa Lo, Pallavi Menon and Melissa Seidemann.
In the cage, Amber Oland made six saves in two-plus periods of action, and Kate Baldoni finished up the contest, stopping four shots.
That win set up a rematch of last year's championship game with USC in the evening. But this time, the quick start would favor the Women of Troy, as the Cardinal fell behind 4-2 after the opening eight minutes, then gave up four more scores in the second period to face an 8-2 deficit by halftime.
The gap stayed at six after each team scored once in the third period, and three goals in the final frame by the Cardinal would not be enough in the 10-6 loss.
Eaton and Lo each scored twice in the loss, while Annika Dries and Holshouser each added a score.
Oland started the game and made four saves in the first half before being relieved by Baldoni, who stopped five shots in the second half.
UCLA - 1 0 1 2 = 4
Stanford - 3 2 2 3 = 10
Stanford Goal Scorers: Holshouser 2, Krueger 2, Steffens 2, Eaton, Lo, Menon, Seidemann
UCLA Goal Scorers: Reynolds 2, Burmeister, Easterday
Goalie Saves: Oland 6, Baldoni 4 (S); Dement 6 (UCLA)
USC - 4 4 1 1 = 10
Stanford - 2 0 1 3 = 6
Stanford Goal Scorers: Eaton 2, Lo 2, Dries, Holshouser
USC Goal Scorers: Jancso 3, Bekhazi 2, Craig 2, Dronberger 2, Davies
Goalie Saves: Oland 4, Baldoni 5 (S); Anae 12 (USC)