INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Maggie Steffens scored the game winner with nine seconds left and No. 2 Stanford won the program's sixth NCAA championship with an 8-7 victory over No. 1 UCLA on Sunday.
The Cardinal has claimed five of the last seven NCAA crowns and appeared in every national final since 2010. The win was also the 113th NCAA team title overall for the department, which tied Stanford with UCLA for the most all-time.
Knotted 7-7 with 30 seconds to go, Stanford (23-3) turned the ball over and the Bruins (24-2) called timeout to set up a play for the game's final shot. UCLA would never get the chance. Steffens tipped a Bruin pass on the outside, the Cardinal regained possession with 14 seconds left and immediately used its final timeout.
With nine seconds on the clock, Madison Berggren got the ball to Stanford's No. 9 at five meters and Steffens rifled a rocket to the top of the cage to clinch the championship. Maddie Musselman launched a desperation attempt for UCLA as the clock expired, but it was easily swatted away by Stanford goalkeeper Gabby Stone.
Stanford, which never trailed, went up 7-5 early in the fourth quarter when Steffens drew a pair of defenders and flipped the ball to Shannon Cleary. Cleary drove on goal and beat Carlee Kapana to the far post, but UCLA responded and pulled within one when a Maddie Musselman heave from deep skipped in as the shot clock was winding down (5:42).
The game stayed 7-6 for the next five minutes and featured some massive saves from Gabby Stone. At 4:07 UCLA's Alys Williams slipped behind the defense and was 1v1 with Stanford's goalkeeper at two meters, but Stone stretched her arms wide to make the stop.
Two minutes later it was Stone again, this time shutting down Rachel Fattal in the 6-on-5 to preserve the slim one-goal margin (2:19).
UCLA tied things for the first time with 51 seconds remaining when Musselman tallied her third to set up the frenetic finish.
Steffens had a hat trick for Stanford, her third of the weekend, and was named the tournament's MVP for the second time. Makenzie Fischer joined her on the all-tournament first team and Stone, Jamie Neushul and Jordan Raney were named to the second team.
Stanford tested the Bruins early and jumped out to a 5-2 lead at the half. Berggren got the Cardinal on the board on its first possession (7:19). After a defensive stop, Stanford came down the pool, Raney made the first pass to Berggren and the lefty hammered it in at the near post.
Fischer drew an exclusion and Raney converted the power play goal at 3:35 in the first to put Stanford up 2-0. Bronte Halligan found Maddie Musselman for UCLA's first score the next time down (3:11) and the Cardinal lead was one after one.
Neushul skipped in her first of two goals early in the second quarter (7:00). At 4:13, Stone got a hand on Kodi Hill's shot in the 6-on-5, but the ball inched across the line to make it 3-2 Stanford.
Steffens scored back-to-back goals at 3:32 and 2:44 to wrap up the first half and give the Cardinal its 5-2 advantage at the break.
Alys Williams sandwiched a pair of third-quarter scores for UCLA around a Neushul tally (3:55) and secured her hat trick to lead off the final period (7:39) before Stanford went up 7-5 on Cleary's goal.
The water polo championship was the fourth NCAA title in the past six months for Stanford (men's soccer, women's volleyball, women's swimming and diving), the department's most in a single year 2001-02. Stanford has won at least one NCAA team title for 41 consecutive academic years, an ongoing record.
No. 2 Stanford vs. No. 1 UCLA
May 14, 2017 • Indianapolis, Ind.
UCLA 1 – 1 – 2 – 3 = 7
STAN 2 – 3 – 1 – 2 = 8
Stanford Goals: Maggie Steffens 3, Jamie Neushul 2, Madison Berggren, Shannon Cleary, Jordan Raney
Stanford Saves: Gabby Stone 10
UCLA Goals: Maddie Musselman 3, Alys Williams 3, Kodi Hill
UCLA Saves: Carlee Kapana 9
The Rise Of Olympic Champion Kiley Neushul: From Prodigy ...
Every year you could fill 10 cruise ships with all the teenage athletes destined for stardom in their respective sports. That thought was on my mind in the...
New York Athletic Club Stops Junior Team 7-3 To Take US...
Berkeley, CA - July 17 - It was the present against the future in the gold medal match of the 2017 US Open of Water Polo in Berkeley, California on Sunday as...
Great Lakes Classic Crowns Four Champions In Ann Arbor
Ann Arbor, MI - July 18 - The Great Lakes Classic concluded this past Sunday at the University of Michigan with four champions crowned. On the boy's side it ...
Champions Crowned At 2017 Golden State Invitational
Stockton, CA - July 12 - The Golden State Invitational wrapped up this past Sunday in Stockton, California with champions crowned in a variety of age...
Tropicsurf Named Official Sunscreen & Skincare Brand Of...
Huntington Beach, CA – July 18, 2017 – Tropicsurf has been named the Official Sunscreen and Skincare Brand of USA Water Polo (USAWP) in an...
2017 Junior Olympics Tickets On Sale Now!
Huntington Beach, CA - June 16 - Tickets are now on sale for the 2017 Junior Olympics. To purchase tickets, click here. The 2017 Junior Olympics begin on...
Olympic Club Wins First Kalbus Cup Crown
Long Beach, CA - June 25 - The first annual Kalbus Cup, named in honor of the late Dr. Barbara Kalbus, came to a close earlier today with The Olympic Club...
USA Senior Men Drop 10-6 Decision To Russia On Sunday To ...
Siracusa, Italy - July 10 - The USA Men's Senior National Team finished play in Siracusa, Italy yesterday with a 10-6 loss to Russia to close out a pre-World...
USA Youth Men Down Canada 13-6 To Advance To Finals Of...
Lima, Peru - July 8 - The USA Youth Men's National Team advanced to the finals of the UANA Youth Pan Ams with a 13-6 win over Canada. They move on to meet...
USA Senior Men Edged By Croatia 10-9 In Latest Match In...
Siracusa, Italy - July 7 - The USA Men's Senior National Team battled Croatia once again, this time in Italy, and were edged 10-9. Matt De Trane (Moraga, CA/...
- TOP VIDEOS