Weekly Game Notes
STANFORD, Calif. - The glut of home games in February continues for the No. 2 Stanford women's water polo team (5-1, 1-0 MPSF), as it hosts Sonoma State (1-4) and UC Santa Cruz (2-3) in a doubleheader Saturday at Avery Aquatic Center. The day will start with the Cardinal facing the Seawolves at 11 a.m., then returning to the pool to battle the Banana Slugs at 2 p.m.
About The Opposition
Sonoma State (1-4) heads into Saturday's contest following its first victory of the season, a 10-7 victory at CSU Monterey Bay last Friday. Prior to that, the Seawolves had participated in the NorCal Open at Santa Clara, going 0-4 in the draw. Through the first five games of the season, the Seawolves are led by the scoring of Samantha Mullins (12 goals) and Laurel Stricklin (four goals).
UC Santa Cruz (2-3) returns to the area after traveling to Fort Collins, Colo. last weekend for the CSU Invitational hosted by Colorado State. There, the Banana Slugs went 2-3, defeating Fresno Pacific twice. UC Santa Cruz was led over the weekend by the scoring of Annie Keating (13 goals) and Heather Stewart (12 goals).
In The National Rankings
The Cardinal remained in the No. 2 spot following last weekend's 4-1 showing and third-place finish at the Stanford Invitational. Stanford also notched a win in its MPSF opener with an 8-6 victory over Hawai'i.
Last Time Out
Stanford posted a 4-1 record last weekend, getting things started with an 8-6 MPSF victory over No. 4 Hawai'i at home. The Cardinal then opened up the Stanford Invitational Saturday morning with an 11-2 victory over No. 18 Indiana before dropping a tough 12-10 overtime decision to top-ranked USC later that afternoon.
The next day, Stanford punched its ticket into the tournament's third-place game with a thrilling 15-14 win over No. 7 Arizona State, then doubled up No. 3 UCLA, 10-5, to claim third place.
Another High-Scoring Offense For Stanford
Stanford's depth on the offensive end of the tank was well-documented heading into this season, and it has not disappointed through the first six games, producing 71 goals for an average of 11.83 per game. The Cardinal opened the season by scoring 17 goals in a victory at Santa Clara and has reached double digits in scoring in five of its first six games.
Eaton Makes It Look Easy
Junior driver Kelly Eaton, a returning All-America honorable mention, has gotten her 2009 season off to a fine start, already throwing in 13 goals through the first six contests. Eaton opened the season with a hat trick in Stanford's 17-3 victory at Santa Clara, and since then has notched two more hat tricks, one against Hawai'i on Feb. 6, and the other in the 10-5 third-place game victory over No. 3 UCLA.
"Splashing" Onto The Scene
The Stanford freshmen have made fine debuts so far in 2009, led by two-meter Melissa Seidemann, who is second on the team with 11 goals. Seidemann posted her first collegiate hat trick in Saturday morning's 11-2 victory over Indiana, scoring four goals in the contest. The Walnut Creek native followed that performance up by scoring two goals in each of the Cardinal's remaining three tournament games to finish the two-day invitational with a team-leading 10 goals.
Melissa Seidemann was not the only Cardinal freshman to light up the scoreboard last weekend, as fellow rookies Cassie Churnside, Pallavi Menon and Alyssa Lo combined to score 12 goals over the five games. Churnside led the trio with five goals, while Menon added four and Lo three. Combined with Seidemann's 10 goals, Stanford's first-years accounted for 22 of the team's 54 goals last weekend.
On A Collegiate Scoresheet Once Again
2008 Olympic All-Star and two-meter defender Jessica Steffens scored three goals at last weekend's Stanford Invitational, her first collegiate goals since the end of the 2007 season. Steffens, who starred for the U.S. team in Beijing last summer, netted a goal in Sunday's 15-14 group play victory over No. 7 Arizona State, then added a pair in the 10-5 third-place game win over No. 3 UCLA.
Strange Things Are Afoot With Stanford's "Ks"
Cardinal fans may notice that they are hearing a repetitive consonent sound at many games this year, and that is no accident. Four of the team's five leading scorers have first names starting with the letter "K" led by Kelly Eaton (13 goals) and with Koree Blyleven (seven), Kira Hillman and Kim Krueger (six each) occupying spots three through five on the team's list.
Among The MPSF Leaders
Kelly Eaton is ninth among all MPSF players with a 2.17 goals per game scoring average, while Melissa Seidemann's 1.83 average is 14th in the conference. In the cage, Amber Oland is fifth in the conference with 6.25 saves per game, and Kim Hall's 4.75 goals-against average is third-best in the MPSF.
As a team, Stanford's 11.83 goals per game ranks fourth and its 7.00 goals-against average is fifth in the MPSF.