Nov. 23, 2009
STANFORD, Calif. -
After making 13 saves, including a number of clutch stops in the final period, in Stanford's dramatic 8-6 Big Splash victory Saturday over No. 2 California, goalie Jimmie Sandman of the No. 3 Stanford men's water polo team was named MPSF Mikasa Co-Player of the Week, the conference announced Monday.
Sandman shared the weekly honor with Pacific's Joey Gullikson.
Sandman's performance in the cage helped firm up the Cardinal defense as Stanford came back from a 4-2 halftime deficit to outscore California 6-2 in the second half.
Monday's honor is the second of Sandman's career and first this season. He had previously taken home the MPSF's weekly award on Oct. 20, 2008. The announcement Monday also marked the fifth time in 2009 that a Stanford player has won or shared the conference's player of the week award.
Saturday in the Big Splash, Sandman showed that he was at the top of his game less than a minute into the contest. California was awarded a five-meter penalty shot just 39 seconds in, but Sandman elicited a roar of approval from the Stanford crowd when he stoned Ivan Rackov's attempt in the lower-right corner.
Despite the Cardinal falling behind 4-1 with 2:49 left in the second period, Sandman helped solidify the Cardinal defense, which went on to hold the Golden Bears scoreless over the next 10:07 while scoring four straight goals to take a 5-4 lead.
Sandman also had a hand in creating Stanford's go-ahead goal in the third period, firing a cross-tank pass to Jeffrey Schwimer who was fouled from behind on a breakaway, leading to Drac Wigo's five-meter penalty conversion.
In the fourth period, with the score now 7-6 Stanford, Sandman again answered the call, making point-blank saves in the final minutes on California's Brian Dudley and Charlie Steffens to preserve the Cardinal lead.
With the win, Sandman and the Cardinal captured the No. 2 seed in this weekend's MPSF Tournament at USC, where Stanford will face No. 7 UC Santa Barbara Friday, Nov. 27 at 11:30 a.m.