Oct. 13, 2010
Friday, Oct. 15 - Los Angeles, Calif.
- at - No. 3 UCLA Bruins (9-3, 1-1 MPSF) - 7 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 17 - Santa Barbara, Calif.
- at - No. 6 UC Santa Barbara Gauchos (9-4, 0-0 MPSF) - 12 p.m.
STANFORD, Calif. - Looking to continue the momentum built from defeating the nation's top-ranked team last weekend, the No. 4 Stanford men's water polo team (7-4, 1-0 MPSF) travels to Southern California this weekend to continue MPSF play at No. 3 UCLA (9-3, 1-1 MPSF) Friday night at 7 p.m. and at No. 6 UC Santa Barbara (9-4, 0-0 MPSF) Sunday at noon.
About The Opposition
Third-ranked UCLA enters Friday night's contest having lost two of its last three, most recently splitting its first two MPSF contests last weekend. The Bruins fell 11-8 to California Saturday in Berkeley before rebounding with a 10-9 win at Pacific the next day. Friday's game against the Cardinal will be the second meeting of the year between the two schools, as UCLA claimed a 10-9 win in the first contest, a NorCal Invitational semifinal on Sept. 19.
On the year, UCLA is led by the scoring of Ben Hohl (22 goals) and Cristiano Mirarchi (21), while in the cage, James Hartshorne boats an MPSF-leading 11.00 saves per game.
UC Santa Barbara will be meeting Stanford for the third time this season come Sunday afternoon. So far the schools have split the first two contests, as Stanford claimed a 7-6 win in the second round of the NorCal Invitational on Sept. 18 before the Gauchos returned the favor with a 12-10 win in the second round of the SoCal Invitational on Oct. 2.
Sunday's game will be the MPSF opener for the Gauchos, who defeated Concordia and Harvard last weekend. In the pool, the Gauchos are led by Milos Golic's 34 goals as well as 20 from Zsombor Vincze. Goalie Myles Christian is second in the MPSF with a 6.73 goals-against average.
Last Time Out
Stanford stepped up and snapped a 17-game losing streak to the USC Trojans last Saturday, using a lockdown defensive effort to deal the nation's top-ranked team a 5-3 defeat. Goalie Brian Pingree anchored the defense with a career-best 14 saves, including a save of a five-meter penalty as time expired, a performance that earned him MPSF Mikasa Player of the Week honors. Senior Jeffrey Schwimer scored a pair of goals on the offensive end, while additional goals were claimed by Paul Rudolph, Peter Sefton and Sage Wright. The win marked Stanford's first victory over USC since an MPSF Tournament win over the Trojans on Nov. 27, 2004.
Pingree Named MPSF Mikasa Player Of The Week
Junior goalie Brian Pingree claimed his first career MPSF Mikasa Player of the Week honorl, and the first by a Stanford player this season, after a career outing in Saturday's 5-3 win over No. 1 and previously unbeaten USC. Pingree made 14 saves to lead the Cardinal defense, holding the Trojans, who entered the game scoring an MPSF-leading 15.40 goals per game, to just three goals. He put one final stamp on the game as time expired when he saved USC's five-meter penalty shot.
Southern California, Take Three
This weekend's road trip to Southern California will mark the third of Stanford's four treks to the region and its second trip UCLA during the 2010 season. Already this year the Cardinal has traveled to Irvine, for the season-opening UCI Invitational, and to Los Angeles for the SoCal Invitational two weeks ago, which was hosted by UCLA. Through those two trips, Stanford is 4-2 in its games in Southern California this season.
Rock Solid D
Saturday's 5-3 win over USC, which snapped the Cardinal's 17-game losing streak to the Trojans, featured a memorable and titanic defensive struggle by Stanford. Defending national champion USC entered the game as the conference's top-scoring team, averaging 15.40 goals per game and riding an 18-game winning streak dating back to last season. Yet through three-plus periods, the Stanford defense, anchored by goalie Brian Pingree, held the Trojans to a single goal, and allowed just three on the day.
Doing The Dirty Work
Senior utility Jeffrey Schwimer put in a herculean effort in Saturday's victory over top-ranked and unbeaten USC, scoring two goals amidst vicious battles in the hole. Twice in the contest Schwimer was able to overpower his defender and turn towards goal to power the ball into the back of the net. His second goal brought the crowd to its feet as he managed to turn, elevate and score all while having a USC player wrapped around his shoulders. That type of hard-nosed play has helped Schwimer to 15 goals this season, fourth-best on the team.
Undefeated At Home
Stanford's 5-3 win over USC on Saturday extended the Cardinal's home winning streak to 11 games. Last year, the Cardinal went a perfect 10-0 at Avery Aquatic Center. It marked Stanford's first undefeated home campaign since going 9-0 at Avery in 2005. Since the 2005 season, Stanford has put up an impressive 39-7 record (.848) at Avery Aquatic Center.
Among The MPSF Leaders
Stanford men's water polo is represented among the top-20 scorers in the MPSF rankings through Oct. 3. Jacob Smith is fifth in the conference with 2.18 goals per game while Peter Sefton is eighth with 1.82 goals per game.
Goalie Brian Pingree is fourth in the conference with 7.27 saves per game. On the team level, Stanford ranks fourth in total offense scoring 11.82 goals per game.