Wednesday, Oct. 22 - Stanford, Calif.
- vs. -
Pacific (9-12, 0-1 MPSF) - 10 a.m.
Saturday, Oct. 25 - Stanford, Calif.
- vs. -
Long Beach State (9-10, 0-2 MPSF) - 12 p.m.
STANFORD, Calif. - It's good to be home again for the No. 2 Stanford men's water polo team (15-2, 1-0 MPSF), which hosts a pair of MPSF contests this week beginning with No. 16 Pacific (9-12, 0-1 MPSF) Wednesday at 5 p.m., and concluding with a 12 p.m. battle against Long Beach State (9-10, 0-2 MPSF) Saturday afternoon. Wednesday's game against the Tigers will be only Stanford's second home game of the year, and first since Sept. 19 against Air Force.
About The Opposition
Wednesday's contest will be the second meeting of the season between Stanford and Pacific. The first meeting took place in Stockton back on Oct. 5, with the Cardinal coming out on top by a score of 10-2. Drac Wigo scored a season-high six goals in the victory to lead five Cardinal goal scorers. Heading into Wednesday's contest, Pacific, which fell 9-4 to Pepperdine in its MPSF opener Saturday, is led offensively by Will Milcovich's 39 goals and 1.77 goals a game. In the cage, goalkeeper Brian Domecus leads the conference with 11.33 saves per game and 238 overall.
Long Beach State (9-10, 0-2 MPSF), which dropped an MPSF contest Saturday by a score of 12-7 against USC, visits Avery Aquatic Center for its first meeting with the Cardinal in 2008. The 49ers, still looking for their first conference victory of the season, are led by the scoring of Jeff Greenwood (32 goals, 1.68 goals per game) and the goalkeeping of Derek Wiebe-Bailey (9.78 saves per game).
Stanford In The National Rankings
Stanford remains in the No. 2 spot in the national rankings, and thanks to victories over No. 4 UCLA and UC Santa Cruz this past weekend, will more than likely hold that spot when the new CWPA rankings come out later Wednesday.
Big Weekend Sweep For The Cardinal
Following a solid second-place finish at the SoCal Tournament two weekends ago, Stanford successfully defended the brand-new No. 2 ranking it earned this past weekend. The sweep began with a rematch against No. 4 UCLA, which Stanford had upset in the SoCal semifinals. Saturday's contest ended the same as the last, with Stanford coming out on top, this time by a big 12-2 margin. The Cardinal kept up the momentum on both ends of the tank the next day, traveling to Santa Cruz and collecting a 14-2 victory over the Banana Slugs.
Sandman's Performance Nets MPSF Mikasa Player Of The Week Honor
Redshirt junior goalkeeper Jimmie Sandman became the third Cardinal player to earn MPSF Mikasa Player of the Week on Monday. Sandman made 11 saves in Stanford's 12-2 rout of No. 4 UCLA and his defensive effort also lowered his goals-against average to 4.00 goals per game, tops among the conference's starting goalies. The honor, Stanford's third of the season, matches USC for tops in the conference.
No Place Like Home
The Cardinal return home this week for the first games at Avery Aquatic Center since Sept. 19, when Stanford defeated Air Force, 14-2. In the 11 games Stanford played away from home since that date, the Cardinal have posted a 9-2 record including a third-place NorCal Tournament finish the weekend of Sept. 20-21 and a runner-up effort at the SoCal Tournament from Oct. 11-12.
Shutting Opponents Down
Once again this past weekend the Stanford defense was nothing short of dominant, allowing only four goals combined in games against No. 4 UCLA and UC Santa Cruz. Goalkeepers Jimmie Sandman and Brian Pingree combined to make 20 saves over the weekend, with Sandman stopping 11 shots Saturday at UCLA, and Pingree getting a save late in the UCLA game then making eight while going all the way against UC Santa Cruz. Also deserving of recognition for the defense's efforts are two-meter players Will Hindle-Katel, Jeffrey Schwimer, and Ryan McCarthy, among others.
Solidifying The Hold On No. 2
With only two berths in the 2008 National Collegiate Men's Water Polo Championship available to be had by an MPSF team, it was a strategically critical move the Cardinal made into the No. 2 spot in the national rankings. By gaining the No. 2 spot, and successfully defending it this past Saturday against UCLA, Stanford continues to put itself in a favorable position to either claim the MPSF Tournament over Thanksgiving weekend or the lone at-large berth into the championship.
Among The MPSF Leaders
Five weekends of play into the 2008 season, Stanford continues to hold lofty positions in the MPSF statistical rankings. In the team stats categories, the Cardinal boast the conference's second-most efficient offense, with 11.79 goals per game. On the defensive end, the Cardinal defense moves up to second in the MPSF with just 4.65 goals allowed per game.
Individually, Janson and Drac Wigo continue to hold spots in the conference's top 10 for goals per game. Janson's 2.12 goals per game ranks third in the MPSF, while Drac's average of 1.77 stands tied for eighth. Sage Wright is also in the MPSF's top 25, as his 1.31 scoring average is 22nd.
On the defensive end of the tank, starter Jimmie Sandman leads the conference with a 4.00 goals-against average among all full-time MPSF goalkeepers, while fellow cage-minder Brian Pingree boasts a 2.30 goals-against average over his 10 appearances on the year.
Head Coach John Vargas
Head coach John Vargas enters his seventh year at the helm of the Cardinal program in 2008. Vargas' record at Stanford is 138-41 (.771) 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 four times. Under Vargas' watch, 29 Stanford water polo players have earned All-America honors, including six in 2007, the program's highest total since 2001. 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.