Four Stanford men’s water polo players earned All-MPSF honors Tuesday as the conference announced its All-MPSF Teams.
Junior utility Alex Bowen was named to the first team, sophomore driver Bret Bonanni and redshirt senior two-meter Forrest Watkins were named to the second team and sophomore driver BJ Churnside was named honorable mention.
The quartet will be in action along with the rest of the Cardinal this Thursday at the NCAA Men’s Water Polo Championship at Avery Aquatic Center. The Cardinal opens the draw against SCIAC champion Whittier College Thursday at 2:45 p.m. The winner of that contest moves on to Saturday’s semifinal at 2:45 p.m. against No. 2 Pacific.
Bowen headlined the Cardinal selections by earning a spot on the All-MPSF First Team for the third straight year. The San Diego native has scored a career-high 67 goals this season, eclipsing his 2012 total of 64, and is second on the team in goals scored.
Watkins’ selection to the All-MPSF Second Team was his third all-conference recognition as well. The fifth-year senior two-meter was named to the First Team in 2011 and honorable mention a year ago. This season, Watkins has been a presence for the Cardinal on both ends of the pool, contributing to a defense that allows just 7.50 goals per game, and on offense adding 29 goals.
Bonanni and Churnside each earned their second straight All-MPSF nods. Last season Bonanni was named to the first team as well as the conference’s Newcomer of the Year, while Churnside was named honorable mention. This year Bonanni leads the MPSF and the Cardinal with 89 goals, just nine away from Michael Sharf’s MPSF single-season record of 98 set in 2007. His 3.42 goals-per-game average is also tops in the conference.Churnside earned his second straight honorable mention from the MPSF following a regular season in which he has scored 38 goals, moving past his freshman-year total of 31.