Stanford men’s water polo opened its season at the Bruno Classic this past weekend in Cambridge, Mass. and Providence, R.I. with a 5-0 sweep.
Senior Bret Bonanni led the team throughout the tournament, marking 27 goals, and is now 40 goals shy of breaking former Cardinal Tony Azevedo’s ’04 school scoring record of 332 goals.
In Stanford’s first match against No. 19 MIT, Bonanni’s 9 goals helped lead the Cardinal to a 29-9 victory. Stanford held MIT scoreless during the first quarter, scoring seven points before MIT could rally with a point of their own. Going into the second half, Stanford led 15-4 and scored 14 more points after intermission compared to MIT’s five.
Freshman Kyle Weikert had a breakout game during Stanford’s 21-5 victory against unranked Harvard on Saturday, leading the Cardinal with five points, four of which were scored in the second half.
Although Harvard put the first point on the board, Stanford was quick to shut the Crimson down, scoring eight points – three of them in less than 45 seconds – before they could respond.
Stanford kept Harvard off the board for ten minutes as the Cardinal built their lead with five more goals from redshirt junior Adam Abdulhamid, Bonanni, sophomore Cody Smith and freshman March Stanchi.
Stanford dominated Harvard in the second half of the game, scoring 11 more points compared to Harvard’s two.
On Sunday morning the Stanford team continued to demonstrate its complete control in the pool when they cruised to a 20-4 victory over No. 19 Bucknell.
The game was scoreless until the fourth minute when Bucknell made the first shot. Stanford responded with nine-goal streak to end the half.
Even when Bucknell was in man-up situations, the Cardinal still held the Bison at bay, mostly preventing them from capitalizing on the opportunity. In the 11 situations when Stanford had one less man in the pool, Bucknell scored only two points.
Stanford scored six more times in the third quarter and completed the victory with five more points in the fourth quarter.
Stanford continued its winning streak with a 19-3 win over No. 17 Saint Francis of New York. Stanford scored the first five points of the match before St. Francis could rally. The Cardinal entered the half with a nine-point lead.
St. Francis made an effort to come out strong in the second half, scoring the first point, but Stanford squashed any hope the Terriers had of making a recovery and scored the next nine points. St. Francis closed out the match with one last point although hope was already lost, as the match ended with a 19-3 win for the Cardinal.
To complete the sweep the Cardinal defeated No. 11 Brown 19-6 Sunday afternoon. After the half the Cardinal led Brown 10-4. Stanford scored five more goals in the third quarter and four more in the fourth.
Stanford will return to the Farm to host the Kap7 NorCal Invitational from September 19-20 at the Avery Aquatic Center.
The match ups have yet to be decided but it is likely that Stanford will face at least one of the top three teams – UCLA, USC or Cal – at some point that weekend.
Contact Laura Stickells at lauraczs ‘at’ stanford.edu.