Oct. 14, 2009
Saturday, Oct. 17 - Stanford, Calif.
- vs. -
No. 14 Santa Clara (13-5) - 12 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 18 - Stanford, Calif.
- vs. -
No. 5 Pepperdine (7-7, 1-1 MPSF) - 12 p.m.
STANFORD, Calif. - The Stanford men's water polo team (12-1, 1-0 MPSF) returns to the familiarity of home at the Avery Aquatic Center this weekend, hosting South Bay neighbor Santa Clara (13-5) Saturday, Oct. 17 at 12 p.m. before ending the weekend with a 12 p.m. contest Sunday, Oct. 18 against MPSF foe Pepperdine (7-7, 1-1 MPSF).
About The Opposition
Santa Clara (13-5) heads into Saturday's contest on a two-game slide after having dropped contests to Pomona-Pitzer and to UCLA two weeks ago. The Broncos, which reached a program-high ranking of No. 10 last month, are led offensively by the play of Jack Wall (45 goals), Nick Poggetti (32 goals) and Liam Farrell (27 goals) while in the cage, Michael Wishart stops 7.5 shots per game and allows just 5.94 goals per contest.
Pepperdine (7-7, 1-1 MPSF) visits Avery Aquatic Center after capturing three of four contests and finishing fifth at the UCI Invitational in Irvine last weekend. The Waves will be facing the Cardinal for the third time this season come Sunday, with the Cardinal having captured each contest, first a 15-9 victory at the NorCal Invitational and most recently a 13-3 win at the UCI Invitational this past Saturday.
The Waves feature an offense led by J.P. MacDonnell (28 goals, 2.33 goals per game) and on defense goalie averages 6.00 saves per game.
Last Time Out
Stanford suffered its first defeat of the 2009 campaign this past weekend, falling 10-8 in the semifinals of the UCI Invitational to No. 4 California. But the Cardinal, after having won the first two contests of the draw to stretch its season-opening unbeaten streak to 11 games, rebounded after the loss to California to defeat No. 2 UCLA, 5-4, to take third place at the tournament.
Jeffrey Schwimer scored five goals on the first day, which saw Stanford sweep Princeton and Pepperdine. The next day, Jacob Smith posted a hat trick in the semifinal loss to California while Jimme Sandman made 15 saves, and in the third-place game, Travis Noll led the Cardinal with a pair of goals in the victory over the Bruins.
Stanford In The National Rankings
With a third-place finish at the UCI Invitational combined with its first loss of the season, Stanford relinquished the top spot in the Oct. 14 edition of the Varsity Top 20 Poll, dropping to No. 3 in the nation behind top-ranked USC and California.
Schwimer Sets The Early Tone
Junior two-meter Jeffrey Schwimer got the UCI Invitational off to a rolling start for Stanford last weekend, scoring five goals on the tournament's opening day. Schwimer tossed in four goals in Saturday morning's 14-6 victory over Princeton before adding a score in the afternoon's 13-3 rout of Pepperdine. On the year, Schwimer is tied for third on the team with 16 goals.
Just Call Him A "Goal"-Smith
Sophomore driver Jacob Smith was one of Stanford's top scorers at the UCI Invitational, scoring six goals over the team's four games. Smith scored a goal in each of Stanford's victories on Saturday, and on Sunday, he led all Cardinal players with three goals in a losing effort in the semifinal against California. He would go on to add his 14th goal of the season in the third-place game win over UCLA later that day.
Sandman Faces Down The Barrage
Stanford goalie Jimmie Sandman put together yet another performance over the weekend that solidified him as one of the top keepers in the nation, stopping 41 shots over the four games (10.1 per game), including a 15-save outing against California. Also, despite giving up 10 goals against the Golden Bears in a high-scoring semifinal contest, Sandman rebounded to hold the powerful UCLA offense to just four goals in the third-place game.
Make It Three
Sunday's MPSF contest against Pepperdine will mark the third time in 2009 that the Cardinal and Waves have met in the pool. Stanford holds a 2-0 advantage so far, having earned victories of 15-9 and 13-3 at the NorCal Invitational and the UCI Invitational, respectively.
The "Mac" Attack Hits Irvine
Senior two-meter Ryan McCarthy was another Cardinal player who put together a fine effort at the UCI Invitational, scoring five goals. McCarthy opened the weekend by scoring twice in each of Stanford's victories on Saturday, then added a goal in the semifinal against California, increasing his season total to 15, tied for fifth on the team.
Among The MPSF Leaders
Drac Wigo leads the MPSF with 2.69 goals per game through the action of Oct. 11, while brother Janson is fifth with 2.08 goals per game.
On the goalkeeping side, Jimmie Sandman's 8.92 saves per game is second in the MPSF while his 4.92 goals-against average is currently fifth.
As a team, Stanford boasts the most potent offense in the conference, scoring 12.92 goals per game while on the defensive end the Cardinal is third, allowing just 5.39 goals per game.
Head Coach John Vargas
Head coach John Vargas enters his eighth year at the helm of the Cardinal program in 2009. Vargas' record at Stanford is 159-46 (.776) against the top collegiate competition in the country, and he led the Cardinal to the 2002 national title in his first year at the helm. He has also led the Cardinal to the 20-win mark five times. Under Vargas' watch, 34 Stanford water polo players have earned All-America honors, including five in 2008. Three of his former Stanford players, Tony Azevedo, Peter Hudnut, and Peter Varellas, represented the United States as part of its 2008 Olympic Team in Beijing.