Oct. 23, 2011
Rodeo Tournament Central
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Third-ranked Stanford men's water polo completed a perfect 4-0 run at the Rodeo Tournament in Santa Clara Sunday, claiming wins of 18-5 and 16-3 over Brown and No. 18 Air Force, respectively.
Stanford (14-3) resumes MPSF play next weekend, traveling to USC to take on the second-ranked Trojans at 2:30 p.m.
Jacob Smith led the Cardinal with seven goals Sunday, highlighted by a five-goal effort in the afternoon win over Air Force. Alex Bowen and Forrest Watkins each scored six times with a hat trick in each game.
Goalies Brian Pingree and Hunter Ploch both spent time in the cage Sunday. Pingree made 12 saves over both games while Ploch stopped 10 shots in a strong defensive performance for the Cardinal.
As with Saturday's wins, the Cardinal raced out to a big halftime edge in Sunday morning's contest against Brown. Eight unanswered goals over the game's opening 12:21 essentially cemented the decision for the Cardinal, and they were followed by four more goals and a 10-1 lead after Brown finally got on the board.
Brown scored three of the first four goals of the second half, making it an 11-4 game. But the Cardinal offense was too much for the Bears, scoring seven straight goals to ice the contest.
Along with hat tricks from Bowen and Watkins, the Cardinal got a pair of goals each from Smith, Alex Avery, Paul Rudolph and Peter Sefton. Additional goals were scored by Ian Gamble, Travis Noll, Ryan Kent and Eric Wright.
Pingree played the first half, making five saves before giving way to Ploch, who stopped seven shots in the second half.
The offensive fireworks and the strong defense continued in the afternoon, as the Cardinal took on 18th-ranked Air Force. Watkins opened the scoring 1:15 into the game, and despite Air Force equalizing 34 seconds later, marking the only time during the tournament that Stanford had a lead erased, the Cardinal scored the next three goals to take a 5-1 lead.
Air Force scored two of the next three goals to make it a 6-3 game with 5:10 to go before halftime, but from there it was all Stanford. Smith, Bowen and Andrew LaForge scored before halftime to give the Cardinal a 9-3 edge at the break, then Stanford would score seven goals in the second half to complete a 10-0 game-ending run.
Five goals from Smith and hat tricks from Bowen and Watkins provided much of the scoring for the Cardinal. Gamble scored twice, and LaForge, Sefton and Conner Cleary each added a goal.
Pingree made seven saves as he played into the fourth period. Ploch took over in the fourth frame and made three saves.
Brown - 0 1 3 1 = 5
Stanford - 4 6 3 5 = 18
Stanford Goal Scorers: Bowen 3, Watkins 3, Avery 2, Rudolph 2, Sefton 2, Smith 2, Gamble, Noll, Kent, Wright
Brown Goal Scorers: Stefanovic 3, Espinosa, McNamara
Goalie Saves: Pingree 5, Ploch 7 (S); Napleton TBA (B)
Air Force - 2 1 0 0 = 3
Stanford - 5 4 4 3 = 16
Stanford Goal Scorers: Smith 5, Bowen 3, Watkins 3, Gamble 2, Cleary, LaForge, Sefton
Air Force Goal Scorers: Smithson 2, Vicino
Goalie Saves: Pingree 7, Ploch 3 (S); Harold TBA (USAFA)