Stanford Stuns USC
LOS ANGELES – A stifling defensive effort fueled by goalie Andrew Chun, and timely goals by Quinn Woodhead helped No. 1 Stanford to a 14-8 season-opening victory over No. 2 USC on Saturday.
Nearly 14 months since winning the NCAA championship on Dec. 8, 2019, the Cardinal returned to action to begin a two-day four-team Mountain Pacific Sports Federation round-robin event also involving UCLA and Cal at USC's Uytengsu Aquatics Center.
Stanford showed some rust early, falling behind 6-3, but responded with seven unanswered goals and outscored the Trojans, 11-2 over the final three quarters.
Woodhead, who had team-high scoring honors, scored all three of his goals during a vital stretch that propelled Stanford into the lead. He ignited the run with a pair of goals to open the second quarter, the second was a push shot against tight defense.
Moments after Tyler Abramson fired in a left-handed shot to tie the game, Chun saved a penalty during a stretch in which he repeatedly barricaded the goal against a series of Trojans shots. Chun finished with 12 saves.
Soren Jensen scored two goals. Photo by Catharyn Hayne.
Then, Woodhead struck again, putting Stanford ahead for good, at 7-6.
Stanford held USC (2-3 overall, 2-3 in MPSF play) scoreless for about 15 minutes of game action, throughout the second quarter and for most of the third. Stanford answered USC's tally with three more consecutive goals to put the game away.
Stanford extended its winning streak to seven and earned its largest margin of victory over USC since at least 2000 (as far back as year-by-results are available online), having played 59 games since then.
USC also was held to its fewest goals in the series since beating Stanford, 8-6, on Sept. 18, 2017.
Stanford returns to action Sunday with a 10 a.m. game against UCLA and a 3:30 p.m. contest against Cal. All three of Stanford's weekend opponents are tied for No. 2 in the CWPA rankings.
Andrew Chun makes the save. Photo by Catharyn Hayne.
#1 Stanford 14, #2 USC 8
Feb. 6, 2021 | Uytengsu Aquatics Center
USC 6 - 0 - 1 - 1 = 8
STAN 3 - 3 - 5 - 3 = 14
USC — Marcus Longton 3, Jacob Mercep, Chris Sturtevant, Jake Ehrhardt, Luke Wyatt, Wyatt Barker.
STAN — Quinn Woodhead 3, Beck Jurasius 2, Ethan Parrish 2, Soren Jensen 2, Walker Seymour, Tyler Abramson, Spencer Nelson, Jackson Painter, Riley Pittman.
SAVES: Nic Porter (USC) 7, Vaios Vlahotasios (USC) 0, Andrew Chun (STAN) 12.