Stanford Wins NCAA Women's Water Polo Title

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - A tough angle, a one-goal lead, and just over one minute to go in the NCAA Women's Water Polo Championship Game stared senior Pallavi Menon in the face. She had three problems, but her aim wasn't one. Menon's shot across the goal bounced off the far post and into the cage, sealing Stanford's second straight NCAA title, and third overall, with a 6-4 victory over USC Sunday at Aztec Aquaplex in San Diego.

The Cardinal (26-2) added its third women's water polo national championship to its collection, and the 103rd NCAA title overall for the Stanford Athletics. Stanford previously won women's water polo titles in 2002 and 2011.

Sunday's victory came two years after the Cardinal had lost the 2010 national title game, 10-9, to USC in the very same Aztec Aquaplex pool.

Menon's second goal of the game, with 1:11 to go, put the Trojans on the back heel, forcing them to take a quick shot on the next possession. The Cardinal defense, anchored by tournament MVP Kate Baldoni, who made 15 saves Sunday, held firm to preserve the win.

Baldoni earned the tournament's top honor after making a total of 29 saves and allowing just nine goals in Stanford's wins over Pomona-Pitzer, UC Irvine and USC.

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