Women's Lacrosse

On to the Title Game

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BOULDER, Colo. – Sophomore Daniella McMahon scored all three goals of her first career hat trick during a dramatic second half comeback to lead No. 13 Stanford over No. 20 USC, 15-14, in a Pac-12 Tournament semifinal on Friday at Prentup Field.

No. 2 seed Stanford (14-4) moves on to play host and top-seeded Colorado (13-4) in the inaugural Pac-12 Tournament Championship game at 11 a.m. PT on Sunday.

Stanford, which lost three times to the Trojans last year, defeated USC for the third time this season. The three victories were decided by a combined five goals and included a triple-overtime game. All three involved big second half comebacks by the Cardinal.

Stanford led 7-6 at the half, but trailed 13-10 midway through the second half. McMahon scored three times in a 10-minute span, including the go-ahead goal with 8:51 to play. The Cardinal never surrendered the lead again and held on during the frantic final seconds. 

Junior Areta Buness, who led all scorers with four goals, tallied the first goal in Stanford's Pac-12 Tournament history to put the Cardinal up 1-0 just 92 seconds into the contest.

No. 3 seed USC (10-8) scored three in a row and led for the majority of the first half. But Stanford scored the last three before intermission. Senior Kelsey Murray scored twice after a goal from freshman Taylor Scornavacco and the Cardinal led by one at the break.

Buness also scored first in the second half. She needed just 62 seconds to give the Cardinal an 8-6 advantage.

However, the Trojans scored five of the next six and led 11-9 with 19:33 to play.

McMahon ended that streak with a free position goal with 16:27 remaining, but USC responded to take its largest lead, 13-10, with 15:02 to go.

Stanford scored the next five goals, including three in a 2:03 span to tie the game. Baiocco, Buness and senior Maggie Nick scored consecutively to knot it up at 13-13 with 11:37 left. 

McMahon then scored twice in a row to put the Cardinal on top for good. 

USC scored with 33 seconds left and then won the draw control but Stanford's defense did not allow a shot in the waning seconds. 

Senior Allie DaCar made 10 saves, including seven in the second half comeback. Junior Julia Massaro extended her school record with a team-high six draw controls and is up to 80 this season. Murray had two goals and two assists, while Kyra Pelton, Kelly Myers and Dillon Schoen each had three ground balls.

USC led 19-12 in draw controls and the Cardinal was out-shot, 32-26, but held the edge in ground balls 23-19.

Sunday's game will be televised on Pac-12 Networks.