IRVINE, Calif. – Stanford women’s water polo rolled to a pair of wins Saturday at the UCI Invitational, earning a spot in Sunday’s semifinal round with wins of 11-3 and 11-10 over Pacific and No. 7 Arizona State, respectively, at Corona del Mar High School.
The second-ranked Cardinal (9-0) will take on No. 3 UCLA or UC San Diego Sunday at 11:45 a.m. at UC Irvine. Should the Cardinal win, the tournament title game is set for a 5:15 p.m. start.
Senior Kaley Dodson paced the Cardinal with six goals Saturday, including four in the afternoon win over the Sun Devils. Ashley Grossman scored a pair of goals in each game while Anna Yelizarova was next with three on the day.
All three Cardinal goalies saw action. Gabby Stone went the distance in the afternoon, making six saves, while in the morning Emily Dorst made two saves over the first three periods before giving way to Julia Hermann, who stopped a pair of shots in the final frame against Pacific.
Stanford found itself in a back-and-forth battle with Arizona State in the second game of the day, as the teams were knotted at 3-3 with 4:55 to go in the first half following a 6-on-5 goal from the Sun Devils’ Liz Kreek. Grossman, however, would respond with a power-play goal of her own 20 seconds later to put the Cardinal back in front. Annika Dries would score with 36 seconds left in the half but Ao Gao would answer five seconds before the buzzer to make it a one-goal game at the break.
The Cardinal would pull away once the second half got underway, going ahead 8-4 as Maggie Steffens scored early, followed by even-strength goals from Yelizarova and Grossman at the 5:59 and 4:25 marks, respectively. Gao would get Arizona State to within three, but Dodson scored her third with 40 seconds to go in the frame to put the Cardinal up 9-5.
A power-play goal from Neushul and an even-strength tally from Dodson, her fourth, sandwiched an Annie Kertes goal for Arizona State, boosting the Cardinal lead to five at 11-6 with 4:16 remaining. Arizona State would chip away, and despite a pair of goals in the final eight seconds would run out of time and fall a goal short.
Four goals in each of the first two periods paced the Cardinal to an 8-2 halftime lead over Pacific Saturday morning. The Cardinal defense, which held the Tigers scoreless over the opening frame, continued its dominance in the second half, limiting Pacific to just one goal over the final 16 minutes.
The Cardinal got a pair of goals each from the trio of Kaley Dodson, Ashley Grossman and Anna Yelizarova, while Cory Dodson, Annika Dries, Dani Jackovich, Gurpreet Sohi and Maggie Steffens each found the net
Emily Dorst and Julia Hermann each made a pair of saves against Pacific, as Dorst started and went the first three periods and Hermann came on for the fourth.
Pacific – 0 2 1 0 = 3
Stanford – 4 4 1 2 = 11
Stanford Goal Scorers: K. Dodson 2, Grossman 2, Yelizarova 2, C. Dodson, Dries, Jackovich, Sohi, Steffens
Pacific Goal Scorers: Adair, Carter, Wright
Goalie Saves: Dorst 2, Hermann 2 (S); Nee 4 (P)
Arizona State – 2 2 1 5 = 10
Stanford – 2 3 4 2 = 11
Stanford Goal Scorers: K. Dodson 4, Grossman 2, K. Neushul 2, Dries, Steffens, Yelizarova
Arizona State Goal Scorers: Kertes 3, Benekou 2, Gad 2, Carter, Enoka, Kreek
Goalie Saves: Stone 6 (S); Keeve 10 (ASU)