USC women's water polo wins fifth national title, 5-4 over Stanford
They don't get much closer than this.
In the lowest-scoring championship game since 2009, USC defeated Stanford 5-4 to claim the school's fifth title.
NATIONAL CHAMPIONS!— USC Water Polo (@USCWaterPolo) May 13, 2018
No. 1 USC wins the 2018 NCAA Women’s Water Polo title in dramatic fashion, claiming a 5-4 thriller over No. 2 Stanford at Uytengsu Aquatics Center for the sixth National Championship in program history!
#FightOn | #NCAAWaterPolo pic.twitter.com/ZfOviTO1Ha
It was a slow burn at first. Neither team cracked the scoreboard in the first quarter, and USC didn't lead in the game until 30 seconds into the fourth.
Even that was fleeting, as the Trojans went back and forth with Stanford for almost the entire period. But with under two minutes to play, a hat-trick-earning goal by Denise Mammolito put USC up for good, 5-4.
Stanford had two chances to equalize, but a blocked shot and an offensive foul sealed the result, and ended the Cardinal's shot at a repeat.
The title is Southern California's first since 2016, and fourth since 2010.
In the semifinals, USC first dispatched UCLA 10-6, before Stanford withstood a comeback effort and downed Cal. Stanford and USC have won each of the last eight national championships, and Stanford has three of the last four, including last year.
Scroll below to relive the championship game in real time: