Annika Dries, Kiley Neushul and Maggie Steffens were named to the All-MPSF First Team Tuesday, leading the way as seven Cardinal women’s water polo players earned all-conference honors.
Driver Kaley Dodson earned a spot on the second team, goalie Gabby Stone and interior attacker Ashley Grossman were each named honorable mention, and freshman driver Jamie Neushul was tabbed for the All-Newcomer Team.
Collectively the group is part of a Stanford squad which owns a 22-1 record heading into the National Collegiate Women’s Water Polo Championship, set for May 9-11 at USC’s Uytengsu Aquatics Center in Los Angeles. There, the Cardinal will face the winner of May 3’s Indiana-Wagner play-in game in May 9’s quarterfinals.
Stanford most recently captured its fifth MPSF Championship crown, and first since 2006, this past Sunday with a 6-5 victory over No. 2 UCLA.
Tuesday’s announcement marked the fourth All-MPSF honors for both Dries and Dodson, and the second first-team nod for the former. Dries ranks fourth on the Cardinal with 40 goals in 2014 and scored three goals over the team’s two wins at last weekend’s MPSF Championship, but she has been among the Cardinal’s top two-way players all season. One of the rocks of the Stanford defense, Dries has been instrumental in shutting down opposing players in the two-meter area, and her play is a major factor in Stanford’s 5.91 team goals-against average.
Dodson, named to the second team, has 19 goals to her name this season but is also a key defender on the perimeter for the Cardinal. The Seal Beach native scored a goal in each of Stanford’s wins last weekend in Los Angeles, and her defensive play has helped the Cardinal hold nine of its past 11 opponents to six goals or less.
Kiley Neushul and Steffens are repeat first-teamers from 2013, with Neushul earning her third straight selection to the conference’s top team. The pair serves as the Cardinal’s 1-2 punch from the perimeter, as Neushul leads the team with 46 goals with Steffens second at 44. Each player ranks in the MPSF’s top 10 in scoring average, with Neushul sitting sixth at 2.00 goals per game and Steffens ninth at 1.91. Last weekend, Steffens led the Cardinal with six goals over its two MPSF Championship wins while Neushul netted four.
Grossman earned her second All-MPSF honorable mention, being recognized back in 2012 as well, while Stone earned her first all-conference nod. Providing a strong inside presence for the Cardinal alongside Dries, Grossman is one of four 40-goal scorers for Stanford, currently third on the team with 41 after netting one at the MPSF Championship. She is also 12th in the MPSF with 1.78 goals per game.
Stone, in her first season as the Cardinal’s No. 1 goalie, has risen to the challenge, averaging 7.82 saves per game and owning a goals-against average of 5.99, third-best in the MPSF. She has gone 7-1 so far in 2014 against the other three top-four teams in the country (UCLA, USC and California).
In her first year on The Farm, freshman Jamie Neushul has quickly established herself in the Stanford starting lineup. The younger of the Neushul sisters, Jamie has scored 20 goals in 2014 and also made her presence felt on the defensive end with key field blocks on the perimeter alongside older sister Kiley and Kaley Dodson, among others.