Jan. 10, 2012
2012 Stanford Women's Water Polo Schedule
STANFORD, Calif. - Defending national champion Stanford women's water polo, the No. 1 team in the CWPA Varsity Top 20 Preseason Poll, was tabbed first in the MPSF's Preseason Coaches' Poll Tuesday.
The Cardinal, which went 28-1 last season en route to winning its second NCAA crown, collected the maximum possible 49 points and seven first-place votes to top the poll. California, last year's national runner-up, received the remaining first-place vote and 39 points to finish second. USC and UCLA made up the rest of the top half of the poll with 35 and 34 points, respectively.
Arizona State (27 points), San Jose State (18), San Diego State (15) and Hawai'i (seven) rounded out the spots in the poll.
Stanford enters the 2012 season as the top-ranked team according to the CWPA's Varsity Top 20 Poll. Second-team All-American and senior driver Alyssa Lo (42 goals last year) and All-American honorable mention and sophomore driver Kaley Dodson (27 goals) return for the Cardinal in 2012, along with 34-goal scorer Pallavi Menon, who enters her senior season.
The Cardinal will be without first-team All-American two-meter players Annika Dries and Melissa Seidemann in 2012, as each player has taken a leave of absence from school to train with the U.S. Senior National Team in preparation for the 2012 Olympics. Dries, the Peter J. Cutino Award winner and team scoring leader with 65 goals last season, and Seidemann, a Cutino Award finalist who scored 51 goals in 2011, will both return to the Cardinal for the 2013 season.
Also leaving due to graduation last June is driver Kim Krueger
, who scored 36 goals in 2011 and was named All-America honorable mention.
The trio of junior Kate Baldoni and freshman Emily Dorst will vie to replace 2011 first-team All-American goalie Amber Oland in the cage this season. Baldoni saw action in 17 games last year, averaging 7.35 saves per game while limiting opponents to just 4.04 goals per game.
Also returning for the Cardinal in 2012 are juniors Cassie Churnside and Jillian Garton, who scored 19 and 18 goals last year, respectively.
Stanford will open the 2012 season with two games at the California Speedo Invitational in Berkeley on Jan. 28. The Cardinal will take on No. 11 Loyola Marymount at 10:30 a.m. before closing the day against No. 16 UC Davis at 4:30 p.m.
The Cardinal will host its annual Stanford Invitational at Avery Aquatic Center Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 4-5.
2012 MPSF Preseason Coaches Poll (First-place votes)
1. Stanford (7) - 49
2. California (1) - 39
3. USC - 35
4. UCLA - 34
5. Arizona State - 27
6. San Jose State - 18
7. San Diego State - 15
8. Hawai'i - 7