Nov. 6, 2011
IRVINE, Calif. -
Fourth-ranked Stanford men's water polo further positioned itself for a top-four seed at the MPSF Tournament by completing a SoCal sweep with Sunday's 14-7 win over No. 6 UC Irvine.
The wins improved the Cardinal's records to 16-4 overall and 5-2 in the MPSF. Stanford hosts non-conference opponents Santa Clara and UC Davis next Saturday and Sunday, respectively. Saturday's game against the Broncos is set for a 12:30 p.m. start, and Sunday's contest against the Aggies will start at 12 noon.
Stanford closes the regular season, and the MPSF slate, in two weeks, with the Big Splash against California on Nov. 19 at Avery Aquatic Center.
Senior driver Jacob Smith netted three goals in Sunday's win, while Ryan Kent, Paul Rudolph, Austin Trinkle and Forrest Watkins each scored twice. Alex Bowen, Ian Gamble and Travis Noll added goals, as well.
Brian Pingree stopped 11 shots to anchor the Cardinal defense Sunday.
The Anteaters jumped out to a 2-0 lead just over five minutes into the contest. It took two goals from Watkins, one with 2:09 to go in the frame and the next nine seconds until the horn, to bring the Cardinal even as the opening period came to a close.
Smith put the Cardinal ahead for the first time 39 seconds into the second period, before Irvine's Winston Newland scored his third of the day to equalize. Yet that was as close as the Anteaters would get, as Rudolph, Kent and Bowen scored three goals over the next three-plus minutes to make it 6-3 Cardinal. The teams would trade goals before the end of the half as Stanford went into the break with a 7-4 lead.
Despite a goal from Trent Baxter that made it 7-5 early in the third period, Stanford again answered with a trio of goals, these from Kent, Gamble and Noll to close the period. Smith would score the first two goals of the final frame to extend the run to 5-0 and put the Cardinal in control at 12-5.
Trinkle would account for Stanford's final two goals as the Cardinal collected its seventh win in eight games.
Stanford - 2 5 3 4 = 14
UC Irvine - 2 2 1 2 = 7
Stanford Goal Scorers: Smith 3, Kent 2, Rudolph 2, Trinkle 2, Watkins 2, Bowen, Gamble, Noll
UC Irvine Goal Scorers: Newland 3, Baxter, Parrague, Pickford, Wise
Goalie Saves: Pingree 11 (S); Friedrich 6, Kazmier 6 (UCI)