Oct. 20, 2012
BERKELEY, Calif. -
Fourth-ranked Stanford Men's Water Polo could not keep up its fast start at Saturday's Big Splash, falling 14-8 to No. 7 California in Berkeley.
Stanford (8-4, 2-2 MPSF) returns to action Sunday at Santa Clara's Rodeo Tournament, taking on Bucknell at 8 a.m. and Air Force at 12 p.m.
Alex Bowen scored three times for the Cardinal, which took a 3-1 lead within six minutes and led 4-3 after the opening period. Bret Bonanni scored twice while Conner Cleary and Nick Hoversten added second-half goals.
Things started brightly for Stanford Saturday, as Bowen opened the scoring with a five-meter penalty shot at 6:01 after Hoversten drew the penalty. The goal started a 43-second stretch in which the teams netted a combined three goals, as Matt Russell equalized for California (10-6, 1-2 MPSF) followed by Bowen's second which put the Cardinal back in front at 5:18.
Cleary would double the Cardinal advantage three minutes later, fighting through a pair of defenders at two meters to push his effort past California goalie Jon Sibley.
California would fight back to tie thanks to goals from Giacomo Cupido, but Bowen would net his third on the 6-on-5 just before the end of the frame, giving Stanford a 4-3 lead after the opening period.
Yet despite the lead, the momentum would escape the Cardinal's grasp, as its offense would be shut out in the second period while California went on to score four times to take a 7-4 lead.
California's Collin Smith, who would lead all players with six goals Saturday, opened the second half with a 6-on-5 goal, capping a 5-0 Golden Bear run and putting Stanford in an 8-4 hole.
Hoversten fought for a goal from two meters to bring the Cardinal back within three with 5:39 to go, and Bonanni fired home from the perimeter to make it 8-6 at 3:57. Things were looking up for the Cardinal but California would dash any comeback hopes by scoring three times over the period's final 2:47, Smith providing two of those.
Bowen and Bonanni would score for Stanford in the fourth period but it would not be enough, as the Cardinal dropped its third straight Big Splash.
Stanford - 4 0 2 2 = 8
California - 3 4 4 3 = 14
Stanford Goal Scorers - Bowen 4, Bonanni 2, Cleary, Hoversten
California Goal Scorers - Smith 6, Balarin 2, Cupido 2, Cox, Kelly, Russell, Saponjic
Goalie Saves - Platshon 3 (S); Sibley 8 (C)