Fueled by another dynamic offensive performance from Catarina Macario, No. 2 Stanford women's soccer (8-1, 1-0) controlled tempo throughout during a 3-2 victory at No. 3 Southern California (7-1-1, 0-1) in a highly-anticipated conference showdown.
Billed as one of the nation's best early-season matchups, Saturday's contest was close in score but otherwise dominated by Stanford. The Cardinal repeatedly applied pressure, holding advantages in shots (26-6) and corner kicks (3-1).
After a flurry of first-half scoring, Stanford clamped down defensively and pulled away from USC in the conference opener for both teams.
The Cardinal, which improved to 3-0 this season against ranked opponents, has now won eight of the last 10 against the Trojans. Meanwhile, Stanford booked an important victory in its quest for a fifth consecutive Pac-12 crown.
Stanford's offensive attack was powered by Macario, who ripped off a game-high nine shots, provided the equalizer in the 27th minute and delivered the game-winner in the 42nd minute.
Macario also assisted on Stanford's first goal, with Madison Haley heading it home to put the Cardinal ahead 1-0 at the 14:17 mark.
USC knotted it up in the 21st minute when Tara McKeown found the net and seized a 2-1 lead two minutes later following a goal from Penelope Hocking.
Macario's first goal at the 26:46 mark was assisted by Jojo Harber while the game-winner was made possible by Kiki Pickett.
Stanford returns to action next week, hosting Washington State (Thursday, Oct. 3 at 11 p.m. ET) and Washington (Sunday, Oct. 6 at 6 p.m. ET). The Cardinal will be back on The Farm for the first time since blanking San Jose State 7-0 back on Sept. 1.