Oct. 20, 2010
Sunday, Oct. 24 - Malibu, Calif.
- at - No. 10 Pepperdine Waves (8-10, 0-3 MPSF) - 12 p.m.
STANFORD, Calif. - Fourth-ranked Stanford men's water polo continues its run of four straight road games this Sunday afternoon, visiting No. 10 Pepperdine (8-10, 0-3 MPSF) for a 12 p.m. contest in Malibu.
About The Opposition
No. 10 Pepperdine enters Sunday's contest after splitting a pair of contests last weekend. The Waves opened the weekend with a non-conference, 7-5 overtime victory over UC Davis before dropping its third consecutive MPSF decision Sunday, 7-5 at Pacific.
After a 5-1 start to the 2010 season, things have gone downhill for the Waves as of late, as Pepperdine has lost nine of its last 13 heading into its meeting with the Cardinal.
In the pool, the Waves are led by the scoring of Danny White (23 goals), James Perry (18) and Spencer Hamby (17). In goal, Bence Valics and Bryce McLain form the Pepperdine goalie platoon, combining for 127 saves.
Last Time Out
Stanford earned a road split in last weekend's MPSF contests in Southern California. The weekend opened Friday night with the Cardinal falling, 9-8, to third-ranked UCLA in Los Angeles, before Stanford rebounded to post an 8-6 victory at No. 6 UC Santa Barbara Sunday.
Jacob Smith and Sage Wright each scored four goals over the weekend to pace Cardinal scorers, while Jeffrey Schwimer added three goals. Defensively, goalie Brian Pingree went the distance in each contest, making a combined 15 saves.
In The National Rankings
Stanford remained in the No. 4 spot in this week's Varsity Top 20 Poll after splitting its road weekend contests against No. 3 UCLA and No. 6 UC Santa Barbara.
One Final Trip To Southern California
This weekend's road trip to Malibu to play No. 10 Pepperdine marks the fourth and final of Stanford's treks to the region. So far this season, the Cardinal has traveled to Irvine for the season-opening UCI Invitational, to Los Angeles twice, first for the SoCal Invitational from Oct. 2-3, then again last weekend as part of its UCLA-UC Santa Barbara weekend. Through those three trips, Stanford is 5-3 in its games in Southern California this season.
The "Wright" Stuff
Returning from an ACL tear that forced him to redshirt the entire 2009 season, senior Sage Wright has been a key anchor for this year's youthful Cardinal squad. Through the team's first 13 games Wright is tied for third on the squad with 18 goals and in this past weekend's games at UCLA and UC Santa Barbara scored four goals, two in each contest.
Smith Keeps On Scoring
Junior driver Jacob Smith continued his scoring run during last weekend's trip to Southern California. The Coronado native netted four goals over the two games, with two in each contest to share the team lead for the weekend. Friday against UCLA, Smith scored the goal that gave Stanford its only lead in the contest, finding the back of the cage to make it 8-7 Stanford with 2:56 remaining. Overall, Smith is Stanford's leading scorer so far this season with a total of 24 goals, and is in the MPSF's top five with a 2.15 goals per game average.
Staying Strong In Goal
Junior goalie Brian Pingree continued his recent run of strong play in the cage over the weekend, making a combined 15 saves as Stanford split its two road contests. Coming off of a career-best 14-save performance at home against USC on Oct. 9, Pingree made seven saves desipte the Cardinal's narrow 9-8 loss at UCLA, then rebounded to stop eight shots while holding No. 6 UC Santa Barbara to six goals in the Cardinal's 8-6 victory.
Undefeated At Home
Stanford's 5-3 win over USC on Oct. 9 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. 17. Jacob Smith is fifth in the conference with 2.15 goals per game while Peter Sefton is tied for 13th with 1.62 goals per game.
Goalie Brian Pingree is third in the conference with 7.31 saves per game. On the team level, Stanford ranks fourth in total offense scoring 11.23 goals per game.