For four quarters of regulation play Sunday, Pepperdine goalie Merrill Moses stopped most of what third-ranked Stanford could throw at him. He had made 15 saves, more than a few of them spectacular, including three against point-blank shots on breakaways.
So the sixth-ranked Waves had to be feeling pretty good about their chances of upsetting the Cardinal and winning the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation water polo tournament when Peter Joseph's two-point goal gave them an 8-6 lead with 4 1/2 minutes left in overtime.
Maybe too good. . . .
Stanford pulled to within a goal on a fastbreak with 18 seconds left in the first of the two three-minute overtime periods and then Arturo Rodelo and Layne Beaubien fired back-to-back two-point missiles past Moses in the second overtime to propel Stanford to an 11-8 victory at Newport Harbor High.
Stanford (20-6) joins UMass, UC San Diego and USC (23-3)--which will be awarded the one at-large berth today--in the NCAA championships Friday and Sunday at Corona del Mar High.
In other MPSF tournament action:
USC 12, UC Irvine 9--Ryan Bailey, held scoreless Saturday by Pepperdine, rebounded to score eight goals in his final game for Irvine.
California 7, UCLA 6--Jerry Smith scored both of his goals in overtime as the Golden Bears beat the second-ranked Bruins in the fifth-place game.
Long Beach State 9, Pacific 8--Jeff Colyer scored five goals, including the game-winner with 1:42 left in the game.