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Third-ranked Stanford men's water polo opens its 2013 campaign this weekend at the Bruno Fall Classic, hosted by Brown in Providence, R.I.
All tournament games are set to be streamed live on the Ivy League Digital Network. A subscription to the network is required, with information on how to purchase available at the link at the top of this story.
The Cardinal's weekend features a total of four contests, broken down by two apiece on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday's slate begins at 7:15 a.m. PT (10:15 a.m. local) as the Cardinal, ranked third in the CWPA Varsity Top 20 Preseason Poll, goes up against the host and 16th-ranked Bears at Katherine Moran Coleman Aquatics Center. The day's action continues at 12:15 p.m. PT (3:15 p.m. local) against Harvard.
Sunday's slate consists of an 8 a.m. PT (11 a.m. local) matchup with No. 10 St. Francis Brooklyn before concluding at 1 p.m. PT (4 p.m. local) against MIT.
Stanford, led by four returning All-Americans in junior utility Alex Bowen (first team, 64 goals in 2012), sophomore drivers Bret Bonanni (second team, team-leading 73 goals) and BJ Churnside (honorable mention, 31 goals) along with fifth-year senior two-meter Forrest Watkins (honorable mention, 22 goals), heads into the weekend aiming to find its rhythm and rotations ahead of Sept. 21-22's NorCal Invitational, where it will get its first action against its MPSF foes.
Head coach John Vargas, beginning his 12th season at the Cardinal helm, has his squad boosted also by the return of No. 1 goalie Scott Platshon and utilities Nick Hoversten (22 goals in 2012) and Connor Cleary (13 goals). Also returning to the fold is fifth-year senior Paul Rudolph, who redshirted the 2012 campaign due to injury after scoring 25 goals in 2011.
After redshirting their freshman seasons a year ago, U.S. Junior National Team members Adam Abdulhamid and Griffin Bolan, along with a 12-man true freshman class including USA Water Polo participants Jackson Kimbell and Connor Stapleton, will seek to make an immediate impact upon their collegiate debuts.
The Cardinal went 16-7 overall last year and 5-3 in MPSF play, finishing the season ranked fourth in the final Varsity Top 20 Poll.