About The Opposition
Long Beach State (19-12, 1-7 MPSF) finished tied with UC Irvine and Pepperdine with a 1-7 mark in conference play, but won the three-way tiebreaker for the seventh seed. The Cardinal and 49ers met nearly three weeks ago, on Nov. 10, with Stanford claiming the 11-8 win in Long Beach. The 49ers are led by Zacchary Kappos (60 goals, 1.94 goals per game) and goalie Pavo Ljepopio (10.88 saves per game, 8.28 goals-against average).
Last Time Out
Stanford extended its season-best winning streak to nine games with last Saturday’s 11-10 win over No. 5 California at Avery Aquatic Center. Bret Bonanni scored four goals, including two during a four-goal third period in which Stanford went from down a pair of goals to up a pair, and two-meter Forrest Watkins scored the clincher with 20 seconds left in the contest.
In The National Rankings
Stanford remains at No. 3 in the CWPA Varsity Top 20 Poll, which is due to come out later Wednesday.
Stanford At The MPSF Tournament
Stanford has captured the MPSF Tournament title on four occasions, most recently in 2004. Since then, the Cardinal has turned in two runner-up finishes at the event (2005, 2010), one third-place effort (2008) and finished fourth five times, including in each of the past two seasons.
Among The MPSF Leaders
Through the end of the regular season (Nov. 23), Bret Bonanni is second in the MPSF with 78 goals and a 3.39 goals-per-game average. Alex Bowen’s average of 2.57 goals per game ranks sixth while BJ Churnside is tied for 20th at 1.48 goals per game.
In goal Drew Holland ranks fourth with a 7.35 goals-against average.
Stanford’s Balanced Attack
Stanford has put together a season-long nine-game winning streak as well as it’s best MPSF record at 7-1 since posting the same record back in 2004. Coincidentally, that was also the last time the Cardinal won the MPSF Tournament. Stanford’s success can be attributed to the offensive attack which features leading goal scorers Bret Bonanni (78 goals), Alex Bowen (59), BJ Churnside (34), Forrest Watkins (26) and Jackson Kimbell (24). In goal, freshman Drew Holland is fourth in the MPSF with a 7.35 goals-against average, putting himself in strong contention to become Stanford’s third MPSF Newcomer of the Year in a row.