By Kit Ramgopal
No. 1 Stanford women’s water polo (3-0) hosts the Stanford Invitational at Avery Aquatic Center this weekend, opening the tournament with a matchup against No. 20 Loyola Marymount (2-0).
Stanford is coming off a 19-5 win over No. 14 Long Beach State last Saturday. As usual, Olympian gold-medalist Maggie Steffens led the carnage. Steffens netted six goals, including a first-quarter hat trick.
Jamie Neushul’s ensuing four goals were enough to catapult the game into a blowout by the second quarter, which the Cardinal ended with a 10-1 lead.
Last year at the UC Irvine Invitational, which was Stanford’s most recent match against Loyola, the Cardinal came out on top with a 13-5 margin of victory. Loyola will be on the lookout for Stanford sophomore Madison Berggren, who scored a hat trick in both Loyola matchups as a freshman last year.
This year, the Lions arrive at Avery Aquatic Center ranked 20th, after sweeping their opening weekend with wins over Whittier (20-6) and Pomona-Pitzer (13-6). A firing Cardinal offense will be tested by Loyola junior goalkeeper Claire Wright, who netted 24 saves in the two games after returning from two seasons training with the Canadian National Team.
Updates for the 8:30 a.m. game will be available at gostanford.com.
Contact Kit Ramgopal at kramgopa ‘at’ stanford.edu.