Nov. 5, 2008
Saturday, Nov. 8 - Malibu, Calif.
- at -
Pepperdine (15-5, 3-1 MPSF) - 12 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 9 - Santa Barbara, Calif.
- at -
UC Santa Barbara (13-8, 2-2 MPSF) - 12 p.m.
STANFORD, Calif. - The No. 2 Stanford men's water polo team gets back on the road this weekend, traveling once again to Southern California for a pair of MPSF games. The Cardinal open the weekend Saturday in Malibu, visiting the fifth-ranked Pepperdine Waves (15-5, 3-1 MPSF) for a 12 p.m. contest, then heading a bit up the coast to battle UC Santa Barbara (13-8, 2-2 MPSF) Sunday at 12 p.m.
About The Opposition
Pepperdine has put together a solid season heading into this weekend, boasting a 15-5 overall record and 3-1 mark in MPSF play. The Waves' success includes a key victory over California on Sept. 27, and of its five losses, two have come at the hands of undefeated and top-ranked USC, which Pepperdine took to overtime before falling 7-6 back on Sept. 7. J.P. MacDonnell leads Pepperdine's three 30-goal scorers with 39 goals, being joined in the club by Grant Miller (37 goals) and Adam Hewko (33). In the cage, Jack Hurley (5.25 saves per game) and John Hahn (7.30 saves per game) anchor the Wave defense.
UC Santa Barbara, ranked eighth in the nation, has won three of its last four contests, two of those in overtime, heading into Sunday's game against the Cardinal. The Gauchos take on Long Beach State Saturday before facing Stanford, and are currently 13-8 overall and 2-2 in the MPSF. Milos Golic leads the Gauchos with 63 goals so far in 2008, while goalies Fraser Bunn (10.50 saves per game) and Michael Robinson (9.60 saves per game) split duties in the cage.
Stanford In The National Rankings
Stanford remained in the No. 2 spot in the national rankings for the fourth straight week thanks to its three victories last weekend.
Back To The 20-Win Mark
Sunday afternoon's 19-7 victory over Santa Clara not only marked victory number 20 this season for the Cardinal but also the program's first 20-win season since 2005. That year, Stanford went 20-7 overall with second-place finishes at both the MPSF Tournament and the NCAA Championship. That 2005 record would also end up being the last of Stanford's five-year stretch of 20-win seasons from 2001-05.
A Pair Of Weekend Hat Tricks
Stanford received a pair of hat tricks on the road this past weekend from drivers Andrew Drake and Chris Jacobson, with Drake netting three goals in last Thursday's 12-4 win at UC Davis, and Jacobson leading the Cardinal with three in the 19-7 win at Santa Clara. Drake's hat trick increased his goal total on the year to 22, fifth on the team, while Jacobson's has him currently sitting at 13 goals.
Fast Starts Equal Wins
Anytime a team can score fast and often, and play good defense to boot, it is probably going to be a good day. Stanford has made a habit out of getting off to fast starts so far this season and last weekend was no exception. Thursday, Stanford used a 6-3 hafltime lead to roll to a 12-4 win over UC Davis, then on Saturday scored the first 10 goals of its game against UC Irvine and cruised to a 14-5 win. Finally, the Cardinal ended the weekend Sunday by scoring the game's opening four goals and taking a 10-3 halftime lead en route to a 19-7 victory over Santa Clara.
Brotherly Love Of The Net
Twin brothers Drac and Janson Wigo have continued to establish themselves as one of the nation's top scoring tandems, racking up a combined total of 82 goals. Through the first 22 games of the year Janson leads the squad with 43 goals while Drac is just four back of the lead with 39 goals. That total is 12 more than Stanford's third-best scorer, Will Hindle-Katel, who has 27 goals on the year.
Stanford's frosh duo of Peter Sefton and Jacob Smith have been adjusting well to the college game, closing in on the 20-goal mark this season. Last weekend, each player scored four goals over Stanford's three wins, capped by two-goal efforts at Santa Clara. On the year, Smith has netted 19 goals while Sefton is just behind him with 15 goals.
Staying Unblemished In The MPSF
Stanford's MPSF win over UC Irvine upped the Cardinal's conference record to a perfect 4-0 with four games remaining. Should the Cardinal get through this weekend's conference contests at Pepperdine and UC Santa Barbara, it will set up a much-anticipated showdown against fellow undefeated MPSF squad the USC Trojans on Saturday, Nov. 15 at Avery Aquatic Center.
Among The MPSF Leaders
Seven 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 11.68 goals per game. On the defensive end, the Cardinal defense is also second with just 4.74 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 1.96 goals per game ranks fifth in the MPSF, while Drac's average of 1.77 stands eighth. Sage Wright and Will Hindle-Katel are also in the MPSF's top 25, tied for 25th with matching scoring averages of 1.23.
On the defensive end of the tank, starter Jimmie Sandman leads the conference with a 4.22 goals-against average among all full-time MPSF goalkeepers, while fellow cage-minder Brian Pingree boasts a 2.50 goals-against average over his 12 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 143-41 (.777) 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. Including this season, he has also led the Cardinal to the 20-win mark five 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.