Stanford Invitational Tournament Central
STANFORD, Calif. - The second-ranked Stanford women's water polo team claimed third place at the Stanford Invitational Sunday afternoon following victories over No. 7 Arizona State and No. 3 UCLA at the Avery Aquatic Center. Stanford's 15-14 victory over the Sun Devils earned the Cardinal (5-1, 1-0 MPSF) a berth in the third-place contest, where it doubled up the Bruins, 10-5, to end the weekend with a 3-1 mark.
Ten different Stanford players scored over the two victories Sunday, led by freshman Melissa Seidemann and junior Kelly Eaton, who each scored four goals overall. 2008 Olympian Jessica Steffens netted her first goals of the season, scoring three on the day, while Koree Blyleven, Cassie Churnside and Kim Krueger each scored three times Sunday as well.
In the cage, Kim Hall made seven saves in the opener against Arizona State, and came on in relief later in the day against UCLA to stop a shot in the third-place game. Amber Oland played a big role in limiting the third-ranked Bruins in that contest, making nine saves in a fine effort.
Sunday's 8 a.m. opener between the Cardinal and Sun Devils started off with Stanford up 2-1 after the opening eight minutes before turning into a classic Western shootout. The teams combined for 26 more goals the rest of the way, as after a 5-5 halftime score, the Cardinal managed to outscore the Sun Devils 10-9 in the second half to narrowly earn its passage into the tournament's third-place contest.
Churnside netted a hat trick against the Sun Devils, while Blyleven, Krueger and Seidemann each added a pair of goals. Single goals were scored by Eaton, Kira Hillman, Kelsey Holshouser, Alex Koran, Steffens and Heather West.
In the afternoon's third-place game, the fans in Avery Stadium saw another highly-anticipated and exciting battle between Stanford and UCLA. The teams battled through the opening period, with the Cardinal holding a fragile 1-0 lead. Yet Stanford would break out in the second period, scoring five goals to take a 6-3 halftime lead that it would not relinquish the rest of the way. Oland's play in net, making nine saves, helped keep the Bruins off of the Cardinal's tail as the Stanford offense netted four more goals in the second half to pull away.
Eaton led the Cardinal in the afternoon contest with three goals, while Seidemann and Steffens each tossed in a pair of goals. Blyleven, Hillman and Krueger added the three other Cardinal goals.
Stanford returns to action next Saturday for a Valentine's Day doubleheader, hosting Sonoma State at 11 a.m. and closing the day against UC Santa Cruz at 2 p.m.
Arizona State - 1 4 4 5 = 14
Stanford - 2 3 5 5 = 15
Stanford Goal Scorers: Churnside 3, Blyleven 2, Krueger 2, Seidemann 2, Eaton, Hillman, Holshouser, Koran, Steffens, West
Arizona State Goal Scorers: Smith 3, McGrath 2, Phelps 2, Schubert 2, Campo, Miles, Morrison, Salloum, Unbehaun
Goalie Saves: Hall 7 (S); Morris 8 (ASU)
UCLA - 0 3 2 0 = 5
Stanford - 1 5 2 2 = 10
Stanford Goal Scorers: Eaton 3, Seidemann 2, Steffens 2, Blyleven, Hillman, Krueger
UCLA Goal Scorers: Belden, Breese, Clark, Easterday, Rulon
Goalie Saves: Oland 9, Hall 1 (S); Fullen 6 (UCLA)