Nov. 14, 2010
STANFORD, Calif. -
Third-ranked Stanford men's water polo had its six-game winning streak and its Senior Day spoiled Sunday as the No. 6 Pacific Tigers withstood the Cardinal's late push to deal Stanford a 10-9 defeat.
Stanford (13-6, 5-2 MPSF) had its 13-game home winning streak snapped with the loss. The Cardinal will finish the 2010 regular season next Friday night, Nov. 19, traveling to Berkeley to face cross-Bay rival and top-ranked California in the Big Splash at 6 p.m.
Paul Rudolph scored three times for the Cardinal Sunday, while Sage Wright netted a pair of goals and additional goals were scored by Alex Pulido, Jeffrey Schwimer, Peter Sefton and Jacob Smith.
Goalie Brian Pingree made eight saves and held the Tigers scoreless over the final 6:01 Sunday, which allowed the Cardinal to nearly pull out the spectacular comeback.
Stanford opened up the scoring in the contest, as Schwimer netted a 6-on-5 goal after a quick restart with just 1:34 gone by. Pacific would answer just over a minute later as Joey Gullikson scored the first of what would be his five goals in the game.
Sage Wright struck for the Cardinal on the man-advantage once again just 34 seconds later, but again the Tigers would equalize off the hand of Gullikson. For the third time in the period, the teams would trade goals in the final 1:01, as Sefton put the Cardinal up 3-2 before Pacific's Tyler Reardon answered.
Stanford would take what ended up being its last lead of the game 1:45 into the second frame, as Wright scored in an even-strength situation. Gullikson netted his third goal just 1:32 later to knot things up at 4-4, then Balasz Erdelyi got on the scoresheet 40 seconds later to give the Tigers their first lead of the game at 5-4. Neither team could score for the remaining four minutes of the half, and the Cardinal went into the break trailing by a goal.
Pacific's Goran Tomasevic scored a 6-on-5 goal within the second half's opening two minutes to give the Tigers a two-goal lead at 6-4. The Cardinal offense woke up minutes later, as Pulido and Rudolph scored just 42 seconds apart to bring it back to even at 6-6.
Yet from that point the Cardinal fell into a hole from which it would not be able to escape. Austin Delong put the Tigers back in front 36 seconds after Rudolph's equalizer, then Gullikson struck once more with 1:23 to go. Stanford's hole would get deeper as Erdelyi fired home just before the buzzer sounded, making it 9-6 in favor of Pacific heading into the fourth period.
Gullikson got his fifth goal with 6:01 to play, completing a four-goal run by the Tigers and making it 10-6. At this point, though, the Cardinal defense locked the Tigers down, and Rudolph got things back on track with a goal at the 5:23 mark.
The deficit was cut to two 29 seconds later, as Smith fired home to make it 10-8. Yet the Pacific defense would pick it up over the next three minutes, holding the Cardinal scoreless until there were 59 seconds left, when Rudolph notched his third goal of the game to make it 10-9.
Needing a stop on defense on the next possession, Stanford appeared to have made a steal with 25 seconds remaining but a whistle and a defensive foul gave the Tigers a fresh shot clock and allowed them to run out the clock for the win.
Pacific - 3 2 4 1 = 10
Stanford - 3 1 2 3 = 9
Stanford Goal Scorers: Rudolph 3, Wright 2, Pulido, Schwimer, Sefton, Smith
Pacific Goal Scorers: Gullikson 5, Erdelyi 2, Delong, Reardon, Tomasevic
Goalie Saves: Pingree 8 (S); Malkis 5 (P)