Oct. 19, 2011
STANFORD, Calif. -
Third-ranked Stanford men's water polo opens up a busy five-game weekend set beginning with a 3 p.m. Friday afternoon MPSF battle with No. 7 Pacific. The Cardinal will then make the short trip to Santa Clara for the Bronco Stampede Saturday and Sunday, taking on No. 17 Bucknell, Harvard, Brown and No. 18 Air Force.
The Cardinal (9-3, 2-1 MPSF) relinquished its hold on the No. 1 ranking in this week's CWPA Varsity Top 20 Poll following Saturday's 7-6 loss to UCLA. Stanford dropped to No. 3 in the rankings, behind UCLA, which took over the top spot, and USC, which jumped two spots to No. 2.
Stanford got three goals from Alex Bowen, a pair from Jacob Smith and one from Forrest Watkins in last weekend's game against the Bruins. That trio also represents Stanford's top three goal scorers heading into Friday's contest in Stockton.
Bowen leads the squad with 25 goals, while Smith is second with 18 and Watkins third with 16.
In the cage, senior Brian Pingree anchors one of the top defenses in the MPSF, as the Cardinal allows just 6.08 goals per game. Pingree himself is tied for second in the conference with a 6.21 goals-against average.
Pacific (9-7, 0-1 MPSF) has gone 3-4 over its past seven games since the start of the SoCal Tournament on Oct. 1. Last weekend, the Tigers were edged 11-10 in overtime by Pepperdine. On the year, Balazs Erdelyi leads the Tigers with 35 goals and Tom Koning is right behind him with 33. In the cage, Alex Malkis averages over 10 saves per game.
Stanford and Pacific have already met once this season, with the Cardinal capturing a 9-8 overtime win at the NorCal Invitational in Stockton on Sept. 17.
Following Friday's contest, the Cardinal will head to Santa Clara for the Bronco Stampede. Saturday, Stanford will take on No. 17 Bucknell (10-4) at 11:40 a.m. then close the day against Harvard (6-10) at 5 p.m. Sunday, the Cardinal takes on Brown (10-5) at 12 noon before ending the weekend with a 4 p.m. meeting with No. 18 Air Force (5-10).