Women's Water Polo
    No. 1 USC Takes Second At UC Irvine Invite
    Kami Craig had a pair of goals today in the championship vs. Stanford.
    Kami Craig had a pair of goals today in the championship vs. Stanford.

    Feb. 22, 2009

    IRVINE, CALIF. - The top-ranked USC women's water polo team had its undefeated run through the start of the 2009 season interrupted by a 12-11 sudden-death loss to No. 2 Stanford in today's UC Irvine Invitational championship game. The Trojans had opened the day by snapping a 10-game losing streak to crosstown rival UCLA during the semifinals. In the title match against the Cardinal, USC fought back to force overtime, but Stanford managed a sudden-death score to win the championship and leave the Women of Troy with their first loss of the year. USC is now 10-1 overall.

    In the last meeting between No. 1 USC and No. 2 Stanford, the teams battled into overtime as well. USC got the win that time to earn a place in the final of the Stanford Invitational earlier this month. Today in Irvine, USC and Stanford clashed again, and the Trojans had to fight their way out of a first-half hole to even get near this round's sudden-death finish.

    A slow start saw USC trail Stanford 2-0 in the first period and then get behind 5-2 at halftime. USC rallied back a bit in the third with four goals to make it an 8-6 Stanford advantage going into the fourth period. There, the Trojans pinned up another four strikes, pulling even 10-10 as regulation wound down. A scoreless first overtime period gave way to a Stanford goal in the second overtime. USC would find an answer, however, locking things up 11-11 to force sudden death. The Stanford defense silenced USC's first possession of the period, and the Cardinal next managed a score to end the game as a 12-11 Stanford victory.

    USC got two goals apiece from five different Trojans in the game, while goalies Tumua Anae and Ilse van der Meijden split time in the cage.

    USC's next competition takes the Trojans to Berkeley for their MPSF opener at California at 1 p.m. on Saturday (Feb. 28).

    UC IRVINE INVITATIONAL - Championship (Feb. 22)
    Stanford 12, USC 11
    STAN 2 - 3 - 3 - 2 -- 0 - 1 -- 1 = 12
    USC 0 - 2 - 4 - 4 -- 0 - 1 -- 0 = 11



    USC -- Kristen Dronberger 2, Michelle Stein 2, Joelle Bekhazi 2, Rosanna Tomiuk 2, Kami Craig 2, Kally Lucas.
    STAN -- Melissa Seidemann 3, Pallavi Menon 2, Heather West 2, Kelly Eaton, Kim Krueger, Koree Blyleven, Monica Coughlan, Lauren Silver.

    SAVES: Tumua Anae (USC) 5, Ilse van der Meijden (USC) 3, Amber Oland (STAN) 5.