The No. 3 Stanford men’s water polo team saw its season come to an end when it fell to No. 2 UCLA 10-9 in sudden-death overtime of the MPSF Championship Third-Place Game on Friday.
Despite trailing the Bruins 7-5 late in the game, the Cardinal stormed back to tie the game at seven apiece when sophomore Nick Hoversten found the back of the net with 41 seconds left in regulation.
UCLA struck early in the overtime period, but Stanford answered emphatically with back-to-back scores from redshirt seniors Travis Noll and Andrew LaForge, giving the team a 10-9 lead. The Cardinal was on the verge of avenging its loss to the Bruins three weeks ago, but UCLA equalized to send the game into sudden death.
Junior goalie Scott Plashton denied the first shot, but sophomore attacker Daniel Lenhart capitalized off a 20-second penalty with 1:27 left in the sudden-death period to propel UCLA to the victory. Plashton stood tall for much of the game, making 13 saves despite allowing seven to go past him.
Having won seven of its last eight games prior to the MPSF Championship, all three of the Cardinal’s matches in the weekend tournament were closely contested. Stanford defeated Long Beach State 14-13 in a double-overtime thriller before barely falling to No. 1 USC on Saturday in a heartbreaking 11-10 loss.
The Cardinal finished the season 16-7 overall with five of its losses coming against powerhouses USC and UCLA.