May 12, 2007
LOS ALAMITOS, Calif. -
Top-ranked Stanford moved one step closer to the elusive second national championship Saturday night, when they defeated San Diego State 13-4 at the Joint Forces Training Base in Los Alamitos, CA. Katie Hansen led the way with three goals as the Cardinal advanced to their sixth national title game under head coach John Tanner. Kelly Eaton and Jessica Steffens also scored two goals in the win. The victory pushed Stanford's record to 27-2 on the season after leading 9-2 at halftime and never looking back.
"I was very pleased how we came out today and excuted our 6-on-5 and be real mobile on our front court defense", said head coach John Tanner "They (San Diego State) have a really nice balance in driving perimeter shooting. We knew we had to take away their key players, we needed to be active and change up our defense, so that got us going."
Stanford set the tone once again in the first half when they took a 4-0 lead after one quarter. In the second quarter San Diego State finally found the net, but Stanford responded in a big way with five goals and pushed their halftime advantage to 9-2. Katie Hansen scored all three of her goals in the first half to contribute to the Stanford lead. The Cardinal converted all five of its power play opportunities and completely controlled the half by limited the Aztecs to 2 for 11 shooting in the half.
The second half provided more stellar defense as the Cardinal was able to continue their defensive dominance as they held San Diego State scoreless for over 15 minutes. The Cardinal led 12-2 with 5:19 mark in the match and after a pair of late tallies by the Aztecs, gave the match a final score of 13-4.
The match pleased seniors Katie Hansen
and Meridith McColl
, but both know there is one more game to win if they want to win their first national title. "We go into every game excited and we try not think that we're not the favorites and not let game come after us", said Hansen. "We're very excited and ready to go for tomorrow." McColl also stated that there is one more step before this team will be satisfied. "It's a three step process for us (regarding the championship game), we can't get to the third step unless you finish the first two", stated McColl. "No one on our team has had the experience of being part of a championship team, so that's something that we're all very hungry for."
John Tanner continued to praise his teams' strong play and was pleased with the effort. "Individual and team defense kept us out of foul trouble and I felt like today we played the kind of game that we can, so I'm really pleased with the outcome."
San Diego State head coach Carin Crawford was very satisfied with the way her team battled against Stanford. "We knew coming into this game that Stanford as the number one seed would exploit any mistakes you make and has a very fast and effective transition game," said Crawford. "When you start to make mistakes and turn the ball over or take a shot and your player isn't ready to rotate, Stanford will exploit those mistakes and it's hard to get the momentum to play up to a team like Stanford."
Stanford returns to the pool tomorrow at 5:30 PM against UCLA in the national championship at the Joint Forces Training Base. San Diego State will play USC in the 3rd place game. The national title game tomorrow will be televised live on CSTV.
Stanford Women's Water Polo Results:
May 12, 2007
Joint Forces Training Base
Long Beach State University
Los Alamitos, CA
Stanford 13, San Diego State 4
San Diego State 0-2-0-2--4
San Diego State goals: Ronni Gautschi 2, Stacy Werner 2
Stanford goals: Katie Hansen 3, Kelly Eaton 2, Jessica Steffens 2, Kelly Donahue, Christina Hewko, Kira Hillman, Kelsey Holshouser, Lauren Silver, Heather West
San Diego State goalie saves: Sarah Kilgore - 6, Heather Fenske - 2
Stanford goalie saves: Meridith McColl - 6, Kate Heddleston - 1
Records- Stanford 27-2, 12-0 MPSF, 4-1 Postseason