The No. 1 Stanford women’s water polo team notched another win against a ranked opponent with a 15-4 victory over No. 19 Pacific Sunday in Stockton. Junior two-meter Melissa Seidemann tallied four goals, all in the first half, to lead the Cardinal (9-0). Pacific dropped to 7-4 on the season.
Stanford got contributions from two of its underclassmen: freshman driver Kaley Dodson and sophomore two-meter Annika Dries both scored a pair of goals. Dodson was later recognized as the MPSF Newcomer of the Week for the second time. Her two-goal effort placed her in a tie for third on the team with 14 goals.
The Card did not need much time to get its offense churning as it quickly had a 3-0 advantage after goals by junior driver Alyssa Lo, Dries and Dodson. Pacific answered with a goal by senior utility Dara Tawarahara.
Stanford then began a five-goal run, which started with Seidemann’s first goal of the game late in the first quarter. The Card sported a commanding 10-2 halftime lead and carried the momentum into the second half, outscoring the Tigers 5-2.
Sophomore goalkeeper Kate Baldoni saw the start and registered seven saves. Stanford also got goals from sophomore drivers Vee Dunlevie, Victoria Kennedy and Jillian Garton as well as senior driver Kim Krueger, freshmen driver Kaitlyn Lo and junior driver Pallavi Menon.
Senior defender Bethany Quertermous and freshmen utilities Malena Prlain and Chelsea Weir scored goals for Pacific. Freshmen keeper Michele Relton had three saves in the losing effort.
Stanford is currently on a nine-game winning streak, including some big victories against California and USC during the Stanford Invitational.
The Card has demonstrated dominance in both the offensive and defensive phases of the game. The team has found the back of the net at least 10 times each game this season and has not allowed more than nine goals in any game, holding its opponents to under six goals seven times during this young season.
Seven out of the nine victories have come by a margin of nine goals or more.
Menon is leading the team with 15 goals and Baldoni is first with 45 saves.
This weekend Stanford travels to UC-Irvine for the UCI Invitational, which will feature some of the best water polo teams in the country. The 16-team field includes each of the top eight ranked teams, including No. 2 USC and No. 3 UCLA in addition to the top-ranked Stanford team.
Stanford will open up the tournament against CSU-Bakersfield on Saturday at 9 a.m. It will then face either Arizona State or San Jose State in the next match.
The UCI Invitational, which will feature a total of four games for the Card, will be the last tournament until the MPSF Tournament in late April and the first day of May.
After the invitational this weekend, Stanford will play three games on the road in a span of two weeks against San Diego State, Long Beach State and Arizona State before returning home to face UCLA, winner of five of the last six NCAA Championships, on March 26.