BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – Top-ranked Stanford women’s water polo clinched the top seed at April 25-27’s MPSF Championship with a 19-6 victory Saturday at Cal State Bakersfield.
Junior Kiley Neushul scored six goals, four coming in the first period, as the Cardinal opened the game with an 11-0 run that was snapped with 2:32 to go in the first half. Stanford (19-1, 5-0 MPSF) closes the regular season next Saturday, April 19, hosting No. 4 California at Avery Aquatic Center for the Big Splash. The contest will be broadcast live on Pac-12 Network at 5 p.m.
As the No. 1 seed at the MPSF Championship in Los Angeles in two weeks, Stanford receives a bye into Saturday’s semifinal round, where at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 26 it will take on the winner of April 25’s matchup between the No. 4 and No. 5 seeds.
Maggie Steffens and Ashley Grossman opened the scoring Saturday with goals in the opening 1:13 of the contest. Neushul would register her hat trick with the Cardinal’s next three goals over a span of 1:57 before younger sister Jamie Neushul scored the first of her two goals to make it 6-0 with 2:08 to go in the frame. Kaley Dodson, who also posted a hat trick, scored her first goal just over a minute later before Kiley Neushul finished off the period’s scoring nine seconds before the expiration.
Grossman and the Neushul sisters would account for three goals to get the Cardinal run to 11-0 with 2:45 to go in the first half before Janelle Shelby got the Roadrunners (12-19, 0-5 MPSF) on the board 13 seconds later. Kiley Neushul, however, would net her sixth goal of the game 55 seconds before the break to give Stanford a 12-1 advantage.
Cardinal goalies Gabby Stone and Emily Dorst split the contest in the cage, as Stone made four saves over the opening half and Dorst stopped three shots over the third and fourth periods. Dorst gave up her only goal 2:40 into the third period to Kristen Jensen, but from there bunkered down and helped direct the Cardinal defense in holding the Roadrunners scoreless over the final 13:20.
Stanford – 8 4 5 2 = 19
Cal State Bakersfield – 0 1 1 4 = 6
Stanford Goal Scorers: K. Neushul 6, K. Dodson 3, Dries 2, Grossman 2, J. Neushul 2, Ross, Sohi, Steffens, Yelizarova
Cal State Bakersfield Goal Scorers: Jensen 3, Shelby 2, De Leon
Goalie Saves: Stone 4, Dorst 3 (S); Wahlstrom 6 (CSUB)