Trojans topple women’s water polo in overtime to remain atop nation

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There was no stopping Denise Mammolito on Sunday. Even though the USC driver first scored with three minutes remaining in the first half, she managed to rack up seven total goals as the No. 1 Trojans (14-0, 8-0 MPSF) took the 12-11 overtime win against the No. 2 Cardinal (6-4, 4-4 MPSF).

Mammolito brought the Trojans from a 5-5 tie at halftime to a 10-10 tie at the end of regulation to force overtime. While Mammolito ran the offense, USC goalkeeper Holly Parker anchored the defense. A goal from freshman driver Jewel Roemer at the start of the fourth quarter put the Cardinal up 10-8, but Parker and her defense kept the Cardinal scoreless for the next 13 minutes of the contest.

The Stanford scoring drought was finally broken when junior driver Madison Stamen put one in the cage as time expired in the second overtime period, but it was too little, too late. USC’s Grace Tehaney gave the Trojans the lead three minutes prior and Mammolito immediately added on another goal for good measure. 

Sunday’s contest marked the first time the program has lost three matches in a row since 1998. Head coach John Tanner will look to avoid extending that streak on Saturday for the first game of the Big Splash in Berkeley. The Golden Bears (9-4, 3-4 MPSF) are currently tied with the Cardinal for fourth in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) standings. If neither team moves in the conference standings before the end of the regular season, then this weekend’s Big Splash will be a preview of the first round of the MPSF championships.

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Michael Espinosa '22 is majoring in international relations. He's the head of The Daily's social media team, and editor for the University beat and also occasionally writes for sports, arts, and The Grind. He's the biggest Taylor Swift fan at Stanford and the proudest New Yorker you will ever meet. Contact him at mespinosa 'at' stanforddaily.com.