Uytengsu Aquatics Center - Los Angeles, Calif.
No. 1 Stanford (22-1) vs. No. 8 Indiana (23-5) - 3:30 p.m.
Stanford (22-1) returns to Los Angeles for the third time in the span of a month as it prepares for the National Collegiate Championship from May 9-11 at USC’s Uytengsu Aquatics Center. The Cardinal, the top seed in this weekend’s eight-team field, opens action Friday at 3:30 p.m. against No. 8 Indiana, which defeated No. 9 Wagner in a play-in game on May 3.
How To Watch
Every game at this weekend's National Collegiate Championship will be streamed live online at NCAA.com.
Live scores and information on all eight teams at the event are availables at the NCAA Championship Central page.
Stanford At The National Collegiate Championship
Stanford, owner of three NCAA titles (2002, 2011, 2012), makes its 14th straight appearance at the National Collegiate Championship, continuing its streak of being the only school to qualify for every NCAA women’s water polo tournament since the inaugural event in 2001. Stanford has reached nine national title games and has never finished lower than third at the event, racking up a record of 25-10. Last year, Stanford’s quest for a three-peat was denied in a 10-9 quadruple-overtime loss to USC.
Stanford’s Path To The Final
Stanford takes on No. 8 seed Indiana in Friday’s quarterfinal at 3:30 p.m. It will be the second NCAA Tournament matchup between the two schools, as the Cardinal defeated the Hoosiers 13-2 in the 2003 semifinals. With a win Friday, the Cardinal would advance to Saturday’s semifinal with either No. 4 California or No. 5 Arizona State on the opposite side.
Indiana (23-5) advanced into the tournament proper by defeating No. 9 Wagner, 11-6, in an NCAA Play-In Game Saturday in Bloomington. The Hoosiers, which got into the 10-team draw by winning the CWPA Tournament, are led by the scoring of Shae Fornier (73 goals), Allison Campbell (37) and Rebecca Gerrity (36). On defense, goalie Jessica Gaudreault has made 207 saves and owns a goals-against average of 7.01.
Cardinal Captures MPSF Championship Crown
Stanford defeated No. 2 UCLA 6-5 on April 27 to capture its fifth MPSF Championship crown and first since 2006. The Cardinal came back from a 5-3 halftime deficit, getting second-half goals from Annika Dries, Maggie Steffens and Kelsey Suggs, while on the defensive end goalie Gabby Stone and the unit held UCLA scoreless for the final 18:08 of the contest.
Pick Your Poison
One of the greatest strengths that this year’s Cardinal squad possesses is an explosive, well-rounded offense that constantly keeps opponents on the back foot. Entering this weekend’s final action, Stanford boasts four 40-goal scorers in Kiley Neushul (46), Maggie Steffens (44), Ashley Grossman (41) and Annika Dries (40), marking the second straight year and just the second time in program history in which the Cardinal has done so. Sophomore Anna Yelizarova is fifth with 35 goals, meaning that this quintet has accounted for 206 of Stanford’s 307 goals on the year, or 67.1 percent of its offense.
Dogging You With D
Stanford’s defense has sharpened its edges over the past month and a half, and has been responsible for many of the Cardinal’s clutch victories over that span. While the defense allows just 5.91 goals per game, over the Cardinal’s 6-0 record against USC, UCLA, California and Arizona State beginning March 30 Stanford has allowed just 34 goals to three of the top offenses in the country. In each of those matchups, the Cardinal defense turned up the heat over the final 16 minutes, allowing just 10 second-half goals combined over the six contests. Anchoring this unit is sophomore goalie Gabby Stone, who in her first season as the Cardinal’s No. 1 owns a goals-against average of 5.99.