Steffens reaches career milestone as No. 2 women’s water polo obliterates competition in Tempe

March 15, 2017, 12:53 a.m.

Senior Maggie Steffens reached a historic career milestone and No. 2 Stanford women’s water polo recovered its mojo this weekend in the desert, routing opponents No. 7 ASU, La Verne and No. 23 Marist by a combined score of 49-7.

It was the Cardinal’s first jaunt in the pool following the team’s first loss, an overtime heartbreaker to No. 1 USC at the Barbara Kalbus Invitational two weeks ago. Stanford came up one short in the invite final following a goal from the Trojans in the closing seconds, a result eerily similar to last year’s NCAA title game in the first rematch between the teams.    

There were no signs of leftover lethargy as Stanford came out strong in its first MPSF game against Arizona State. Olympians Steffens and Makenzie Fischer each scored a pair of goals in the first quarter, and senior Gaby Stone stood firm in goal to take a 4-0 lead into the break.

Stanford continued pressing offensively in the second half to build up an insurmountable 7-1 lead going into the final period. Steffens and Fischer would complete their respective hat tricks, and ASU added a pair of goals in the last three minutes to make the final score 9-3.

It was Stanford’s fifth win against a team currently ranked in the top 10 nationally. Despite cruising over the Sun Devils with relative ease, it was one of the Cardinal’s narrower margins of victory this season as the team prepares itself for the elevated level of conference play.

Stanford wrapped up the final two games of its non-conference schedule against La Verne and Marist to close the weekend in Tempe with little suspense. Freshmen Kayla Constandse and Hannah Shabb recorded the first goals of their young careers to help Stanford to a 21-3 romping of the La Verne Leopards.  

The Cardinal hit the 20-goal mark for the second time this season with a staggering 11 players finding the back of the net. That mark would only be bettered on Sunday in a 19-1 victory over Marist that saw a season-high 12 Cardinal pour in goals.

The most notable moment of the weekend came at the end of the first quarter against Marist, when Steffens beat the keeper for the 200th goal of her career. The senior became only the fifth Stanford player to achieve the feat, adding to a lengthy list of accomplishments that includes two Olympics MVPs and three First Team All-American honors. If she keeps up her current goal rate, Steffens will have a great chance at finishing her career in at least third on Stanford’s all-time goals list (Melissa Seidemann ’13 and Lauren Silver ’09 sit atop the list at 239 apiece).

The Cardinal will have two weeks off before returning to the pool on March 25 against CSU Bakersfield at Avery Aquatics Center.

Contact Neel Ramachandran at neelr ‘at’

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