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Stanford wins eighth national title in water polo

(Tim Fuller/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

Stanford water polo won its eighth NCAA championship Sunday with a 10-7 win over defending national champion USC.

USC got on the board first, with Mieria Guiral scoring just 41 seconds into the game. The Trojans would take a 3-1 lead heading into the second quarter before Stanford came back to take a 5-4 lead.

The Cardinals’ Mackenzie Fischer scored four times while Ryann Neushul added three more to secure the win.

Fischer was named the MVP for the NCAA tournament.

“In the first half things weren’t going the way we wanted, we weren’t playing the way we wanted,” Fischer said. “USC was outdoing us in the first half so in the half break we decided that that’s not the energy we wanted to put forward and I think you saw a whole new team in the second half.”

It was Stanford’s third time beating USC this season, and the Cardinal finished with a 25-2 record overall. But their only two losses of the season came at the hands of the Trojans.

“They are just really gritty,” Stanford coach John Tanner told ESPN. “They are such good independent decision makers. It was really chaotic in there and they had to solve a lot of problems on their own. That was really gratifying.

“The whole group, a lot of resolve throughout this. It was a gritty, gritty performance.”

The two teams have played each other seven times in the NCAA championship game. The Cardinal have won three of those games, while USC won the other four.