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Stanford meets lofty expectations

2015 National Collegiate Women’s Water Polo

The Stanford University women’s water polo team entered the season expected to excel. It didn’t disappoint.

The Cardinal began the year as the nation’s top-ranked team. Stanford extended its conference regular-season winning streak to 39 games, wrapping up its sixth straight undefeated conference season in the process. After a 7-6 victory over UCLA in the NCAA championship match May 10, Stanford won its fourth national title in the past five years and became the first school to win a title as the championship site’s host.

About the only thing the Cardinal failed to achieve was a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation title: Stanford dropped its tournament opener, 8-7, to the University of California, Berkeley. But that is hardly a harbinger of disappointment: On its way to those four national titles, Stanford has taken home the conference championship only once.

Stanford routed No. 8 Princeton University, 7-2, in the NCAA tournament opener, then beat the University of Southern California for the second time in two weeks to reach the final. There, in a match in which neither team claimed more than a one-goal lead, senior Kiley Neushul converted a penalty shot for the game winner – her fifth goal of the match – with 11 seconds remaining, earning the school’s 106th national championship across all sports. 

The Results
2015 National Collegiate Women’s Water Polo

CHAMPIONSHIP
Stanford 7, UCLA 6

SEMIFINALS
UCLA 9, California 5
Stanford 9, Southern California 8

THIRD PLACE
Southern California 9, California 8

ELITE 89 HONOREE
Taylor Molde, Hawaii

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