W. Water Polo: Big Splash a good tuneup for MPSF tourney

April 21, 2011, 1:48 a.m.

The undefeated Stanford women’s water polo team captured its final regular season road match last weekend against Cal with an 8-5 win in the annual Big Splash. With the victory, the No. 1 Cardinal (22-0, 6-0) clinched the top seed in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) tournament that will take place in two weeks.

Just like Stanford, the No. 2 Golden Bears (21-3, 6-1) entered the contest with an impressive win streak of their own, having won nine consecutive contests.

W. Water Polo: Big Splash a good tuneup for MPSF tourney
The Stanford women's water polo team knocked off Cal in the Big Splash last weekend to stay undefeated on the season. (IAN GARCIA-DOTY/The Stanford Daily)

Stanford opened the Big Splash on the attack, reeling off five goals from five different players in the first six and a half minutes of the game, with freshman driver Kaley Dodson, sophomore two-meter Annika Dries, junior two-meter Melissa Seidemann and junior drivers Alyssa Lo and Pallavi Menon all scoring to give Stanford the lead.

Cal Sophomore driver Breda Vosters stopped the bleeding with the first of her three goals, cutting the Cardinal lead to 5-1 at the end of the first period.

After trading goals in start of the second quarter, a Cal backhand in the closing minute of the half set the score at 6-3 going into the halftime break.

Excellent play by Cal junior goalie Stephanie Peckham kept Cal within striking distance, as she notched 12 saves in the game, but the Bears did not provide Peckham with the offensive help she needed. Cal struggled to score goals in the second half against Stanford senior goalie Amber Oland, who tallied six saves of her own.

A low-scoring second half–where both the Bears and the Card scored just twice–followed the nine-goal outburst in the first. Seidemann and Lo each scored their second goals for Stanford, and Vosters and junior driver Elizabeth McLaren scored for Cal in the fourth quarter to bring the final score to 8-5.

With just one game left in the regular season, sophomore two-meter Annika Dries is first on the team with 48 goals and Seidemann is second with 37. Depth has been a key trait this season, as Stanford has greatly benefited from its diversified attack–six different players have over 20 goals.

Stanford will face San Jose State in its regular season finale, in which it will honor the three seniors on the squad: goalies Kim Hall and Amber Oland, along with driver Kim Krueger, a Los Altos native.

Senior day is set for Friday night at 6 p.m. at Avery Aquatic Center. The Cardinal will kick off the MPSF Tournament against Arizona State in the quarterfinal round on Friday, April 29, at 1:30 p.m. at San Jose State.


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