STANFORD, Calif. - It's the women's turn in the Big Splash, as No. 1 Stanford heads across the bay to Berkeley to battle No. 5 California Saturday night, April 11, at 7 p.m. Saturday's game marks Stanford's penultimate contest of the regular season, as the Cardinal fight to stay on pace for the top seed at the MPSF Tournament in two weeks.
About The Opposition
California (28-5, 3-3 MPSF) enters Saturday's contest on a run of 13 victories over its last 15 contests. The Golden Bears are in fourth place in the MPSF with a 3-3 record, with the three losses coming to USC, UCLA and Hawai'i.
The Golden Bears, with Rich Corso at the helm in his third season as head coach, are led in the pool by the scoring of Meghan Corso (62 goals), Emily Csikos (52 goals) and Julie Oreglia (50 goals). In the cage, goalkeeper Stephanie Peckham is third in the MPSF with 8.67 goals per game as well as with a goals-against average of 4.27, while fellow goalie Lauren Burke's 2.70 GAA ranks first.
In The National Rankings
The Cardinal kept the top spot in the national rankings for yet another week in the April 8 edition of the CWPA Division I Poll following its 9-8 victory over No. 3 UCLA.
Last Time Out
Stanford remained perfect in MPSF play and improved its overall record of 21-1 last Friday with a hard-fought 9-8 victory over No. 3 UCLA. After falling behind 2-0 after the opening period, the Cardinal got on the scoreboard early in the second half thanks to a goal from Kira Hillman. Hillman's goal started a small run which saw the Cardinal even things up at 2-2.
The teams see-sawed much of the rest of the way, trading goals until the Cardinal was able to string together a pair of power-play goals in the third period that gave the team its first lead of the contest at 6-5.
Two more goals from Stanford after UCLA tied it at 6-6 gave the Cardinal a two-goal advantage, which held until late in the fourth period. With 1:19 left, the Bruins halved the deficit, but Hillman came through with her second goal of the game, this one with 55 seconds remaining, and the Cardinal held on for the 9-8 win.
Hillman Snags Weekly Honor
Senior driver Kira Hillman became the second Stanford player this season to be named MPSF Mikasa Player of the Week, as she took home the weekly honor for the first time in her career on Monday. Hillman earned the honor after her two-goal performance last Friday in Stanford's 9-8 victory over USC. The Carlsbad native scored the eventual game-winner with 55 seconds left to give the Cardinal a 9-7 lead that would hold as time expired.
Seniors Go Out In Style On Senior Night
Stanford's four seniors made sure that their final game at Avery Aquatic Center would be a victory, and it was with the 9-8 win against UCLA. Seniors Kira Hillman and Lauren Silver each scored a pair of goals in the contest, with Hillman netting the eventual game-winner with 55 seconds remaining.
With last Friday's victory over UCLA, the Cardinal remained unbeaten in MPSF play, improving its conference record to 5-0. Following the loss by previously unbeaten UCLA, the Cardinal, along with the USC Women of Troy, remain as the only two undefeated teams in the MPSF, and each have one more game before the teams' highly-anticipated April 18 meeting.
History Of Success In The Big Splash
Stanford has dominated the Big Splash over this current decade, and overall holds a 29-8 edge over California since John Tanner took over the Cardinal program in 1998. Heading into Saturday's contest in Berkeley, the Cardinal has captured the past 21 meetings against the Golden Bears. The last time California was victorious over Stanford in the pool was a 5-4 victory at the UCSD Triton Invitational on Feb. 13, 2000.
She Keeps On Scoring
Freshman two-meter Melissa Seidemann continued her goal-scoring run, netting a pair in last Friday's victory over UCLA to raise her team-leading tally to 52 this season. Seidemann's 2.36 goals per game average ranks sixth in the MPSF and her tally of 52 goals puts her in position to become Stanford's first leading scorer in three years not to be named Lauren Silver.
The Big 2-0
Seven Stanford players this season have already reached the 20-goal mark, and with a few more players on the cusp of the mark, the team could best last season's total of eight 20-goal scorers. The next players approaching the mark are Alyssa Lo (17 goals) and Kim Krueger (16 goals).
Among The MPSF Leaders
Melissa Seidemann's 2.36 goals per game average is sixth in the conference, while Lauren Silver is 11th among all MPSF players with 1.93 goals per game and Kelly Eaton is 15th with 1.67 goals per game. In the cage, Amber Oland is sixth in the conference with 7.14 saves per game and a 6.43 goals-against average, and Kim Hall's 3.77 goals-against average is second-best in the MPSF.
As a team, Stanford's 13.27 goals per game is tops in the conference and its 6.32 goals-against average is fourth in the MPSF.