April 21, 2012
MPSF Championship Central
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Top-ranked Stanford women's water polo clinched its second straight undefeated MPSF season and the top seed at next weekend's MPSF Championship with an 8-1 win over No. 2 UCLA at the Spieker Aquatics Center in Los Angeles.
Stanford (21-1, 7-0 MPSF) avenged its only loss of the campaign with Saturday's win and the one Bruin goal was a season low for a Cardinal opponent in 2012. The Cardinal hosts the MPSF Championship at Avery Aquatic Center next weekend, as the tournament runs Friday to Sunday, April 27-29. The Cardinal faces No. 8 Hawai'i in the tournament opener at 11 a.m. Friday morning.
Kiley Neushul netted a hat trick in the contest, Kaley Dodson scored twice, while Cassie Churnside, Ashley Grossman and Victoria Kennedy added a goal apiece in the win.
Goalie Kate Baldoni made 10 saves in the win, allowing just a 6-on-5 goal in the opening period. Freshman Emily Dorst entered the game in the final period, making a save.
Stanford wasted no time jumping on the Bruins (18-3, 5-2 MPSF) Saturday, scoring three goals in a span of 1:33 early in the game. Grossman opened the scoring at 6:47, while Dodson followed up just 23 seconds later. The Cardinal tripled its lead just over a minute later as Neushul netted her first at 5:14 to make it 3-0.
UCLA got on the board thanks to KK Clark's power-play goal with 49 seconds left in the frame, and the first period would end with the Cardinal ahead 3-1.
Dodson netted her second just 46 seconds into the second period to get the Cardinal lead back to three. However, that would be all the scoring in the frame by either team, as the defenses would clamp down behind the play of Baldoni and UCLA goalie Caitlin Dement.
Stanford put to rest any doubt of the outcome in the third period, exploding for four goals while Baldoni and the defense continued to stone the Bruin attack. It started with Neushul's second goal, scored just 18 seconds into the period on Stanford's first possession. The Cardinal kept its foot on the throttle as Churnside fired home at the 6:09 mark, making it 6-1.
Kennedy and Neushul would contribute the next two goals in the frame while Baldoni continued to keep the Bruins out of the cage, ending the period with an 8-1 advantage. After eight minutes of scoreless play in the fourth period, the Cardinal officially claimed the MPSF Championship's top seed.
Stanford - 3 1 4 0 = 8
UCLA - 1 0 0 0 = 1
Stanford Goal Scorers: Neushul 3, K. Dodson 2, Churnside, Grossman, Kennedy
UCLA Goal Scorers: Clark
Goalie Saves: Baldoni 10, Dorst 1 (S); Dement 9 (UCLA)