Nov. 15, 2012
STANFORD, Calif. -
No. 3 Stanford men's water polo will celebrate Senior Day Friday when it hosts No. 5 Pacific for a 5 p.m. match at Avery Aquatic Center. The contest will mark the final one at home for the senior quartet of Alex Avery, Ryan Brown, Andrew LaForge and Travis Noll.
The foursome will help lead the Cardinal (14-5, 4-3 MPSF) into its regular-season finale Friday against a Pacific team that is 12-8 overall and 3-3 in MPSF play.
Friday's contest is vital for MPSF Tournament seeding purposes. A Cardinal win clinches at least a No. 4 seed for Stanford, while a win combined with a Pacific win Sunday at California would lift the Cardinal to the third seed. If California defeats Pacific Sunday, then the Cardinal will have the fourth seed at the tournament.
Stanford aims to get back in the win column Friday after its season-high six-game winning streak was snapped with last Friday's 9-5 loss at No. 2 UCLA. Nick Hoversten scored twice in the contest, with Bret Bonanni, Alex Bowen and BJ Churnside each adding a goal.
Friday's contest will be the second meeting of the season between the Cardinal and Tigers. Stanford captured a 9-5 victory in the SoCal Tournament fifth-place game back on Sept. 30.
The Cardinal goes into Friday led by the scoring of Bonanni, with 65 goals, and Alex Bowen who has netted 50. Hoversten is next on the list with 21 goals while Forrest Watkins (19) and Churnside (17) are on the verge of 20-goal seasons.
The contest will feature the MPSF's two most prolific scorers this season, as Pacific's Balazs Erdelyi is first in the conference with 3.74 goals per game and Bonanni ranks second with 3.42 goals per game.
The Cardinal defense, with Scott Platshon in the cage, is third in the MPSF allowing just 7.16 goals per game. Platshon's 8.51 goals-against average is sixth in the conference.
Pacific, meanwhile, enters Friday coming off of a 13-10 loss at home to UCLA this past Sunday. The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for the Tigers, who are led by the scoring of Erdelyi (74 goals) and Alex Obert (39). In the cage, Alex Malkis leads the conference with 12.26 saves per game and has a goals-against average of 9.19.