Top seed USC women's water polo outlasts Stanford to clinch Pac-12's 508th NCAA title

For the second consecutive weekend, a Pac-12 team is celebrating the sweet feeling of an NCAA title.

No. 1 seed USC defeated No. 2 Stanford by a score of 5-4 on Sunday in Los Angeles to lock up the Pac-12's 508th all-time NCAA title. Denise Mammolito was clutch for USC, notching a hat trick with three goals, while Paige Hauschild and Brianna Daboub also scored.

USC narrowly outshot the Cardinal, 24-22. But the NCAA title match was a defensive battle throughout. In fact, it was the lowest scoring championship game since 2009. On the whole, USC shot 20.8 percent and Stanford finished at 18.2 percent.

It was tied at 4-4 with 5:45 remaining in the match when Mammolito, a sophomore from nearby Rancho Cucamonga, found the net once again with 1:57 left to play. 

USC goalie Amanda Longan had 10 saves on the day, but perhaps none was more important than the one she had with 22 seconds left to keep the Cardinal at bay. Longan earned tournament MVP honors after the match concluded. 

With the win, the Trojans, winners of 16 straight to end the season, have now won six national water polo titles with their last coming in 2016 — also against Stanford.