April 20, 2012
MPSF Championship Central
STANFORD, Calif. - Top-ranked Stanford women's water polo heads to Los Angeles for a 6:30 p.m. contest Saturday night against No. 2 UCLA with the top seed at the MPSF Championship at stake.
The Cardinal (20-1, 6-0 MPSF) and Bruins (18-2, 5-1 MPSF) battle it out for the top seed in next week's tournament, which will be held Friday through Sunday, April 27-29 at Avery Aquatic Center. The loser of Saturday's game will be the No. 2 seed in the draw.
Tickets for the MPSF Championship are on sale now, and fans can find more information about tickets, schedule and more by clicking the MPSF Championship Central link above.
Fans can follow the action live through Stanford Women's Water Polo's Twitter handle, @StanfordH2Opolo, which will be tweeting live updates as well as re-tweeting fan commentary and photos before, during and after the game.
The teams have met twice already this season, splitting the contests. UCLA handed Stanford its only setback of the season, defeating the Cardinal 5-4 at the UCI Invitational's championship game back on Feb. 26 in Irvine. Stanford defeated UCLA, 9-5, in the title game of the Stanford Invitational on Feb. 5.
Stanford enters the contest on a nine-game winning streak, most recently downing California, 11-5, in The Big Splash last Saturday.
Freshman Kiley Neushul comes into the game as the reigning MPSF Player of the Week after scoring five goals in last weekend's win. On the year, she leads the Cardinal with 48 goals and is third in the conference with 2.29 goals per game.
That figure is just behind the 2.30 goals per game of UCLA's leading scorer, KK Clark, who has netted 46 goals on the year. Stanford's mission will be primarily to stop Clark, as the next-leading Bruin scorer, Becca Dorst, has 22 goals on the year.
The Cardinal's balanced attack also features freshman Ashley Grossman
with 39 goals and a 1.95 goals per game average (eighth in the MPSF) along with Pallavi Menon's
18 goals in 11 games, a 1.64 average that ranks 13th.
Alyssa Lo (29 goals) and Cassie Churnside (24 goals) rank 18th and 20th with 1.38 and 1.26 goals per game, respectively, giving Stanford five players in the MPSF's top 20.
Saturday's contest will also feature the MPSF's two top defenses going head-to-head, as Stanford leads the loop allowing just 4.81 goals a game and UCLA is right behind with 5.20 goals allowed per game.
Stanford's Kate Baldoni and UCLA's Caitlin Dement are also 1-2 in the conference in goals-against average, with Baldoni boasting a 4.67 figure and Dement 5.11.