A big weekend lies ahead for Stanford’s No. 2-ranked women’s water polo team (3-0) as they prepare to host the Stanford Invitational. This weekend’s first matchup will be against the No. 8-ranked University of Michigan Wolverines (2-2) on Saturday at 10:15 a.m. PST. The Cardinal will also play the No. 19-ranked Indiana Hoosiers (1-3) and No. 4-ranked Berkeley (3-0) later in the tournament.
Stanford started off the season strong with a clean sweep of the Cal cup last weekend, giving another startling reminder as to which collegiate sports program runs the Bay Area. They won by at least 15 goals in each of the three wins they picked up, and the most commanding victory of all was the tournament opener against No. 11-ranked Long Beach State, blowing them out of the pool with a 25-4 rout. In that game, sophomore Sarah Klass picked up a career-high five goals, and four other Cardinal players recorded hat tricks. The 25-goal bombardment marked Stanford’s highest offensive production in a game since 2007.
Stanford continued their rampage in the East Bay on Sunday with a 19-4 win against San Jose State. This time, it was junior driver Makenzie Fischer (six goals) and freshman driver Madison Stamen (five goals) that led the Cardinal. With their dominating performance, Fischer and Stamen swept the MPSF/Kap7 player honors for the week, earning the Player of the Week (Fischer) and Top Newcomer (Stamen) awards.
UMich played in the UCSB Tournament to start off their season, which they split 2-2. Their losses came at the hands of No. 1-ranked USC (8-0) and No. 3 ranked UCLA (7-0).
The most exciting game of the weekend should come on Sunday, when the Cardinal face off against No. 4-ranked rival Cal at 12:30 p.m. PST. The Golden Bears also did pretty well for themselves last weekend in the Cal Cup, sweeping up three wins against Fresno State, UC Davis and Long Beach State. Unlike the Cardinal, however, their victories came at much smaller margins, and the same Long Beach State team that Stanford demoralized was able to hold their own against the Golden Bears, eventually falling 11-9. In any case, a rivalry game always brings out the fighting spirit in both teams, and should make for a brilliant finish to the weekend.
After the invitational, Stanford will host team China in an exhibition game on Thursday, Feb. 14.
Contact Stephen Ren at rensteph ‘at’ stanford.edu.