MPSF Water Polo Results, Apr. 8

Emma Wright, California (Photo courtesy of Cal)
April 8, 2017

*Stanford 12, USC 8

Recap by Stanford

LOS ANGELES - Five Cardinal scored two goals apiece and No. 2 Stanford led wire-to-wire to beat No. 1 USC 12-8 on Saturday evening and snap the Trojans' NCAA-record 52-match winning streak.

It was a complete effort for the Cardinal (17-1, 4-0 MPSF). Katie Dudley, Makenzie Fischer, Dani Jackovich, Jamie Neushul and Jordan Raney paced a multi-faceted attack with two-score efforts, Gabby Stone made 11 saves on 21 shot attempts (.524) and Maggie Steffens had four of Stanford's five steals as the Cardinal held USC to three goals on nine power-play opportunities.

USC (25-1, 3-1 MPSF) hadn't lost since May 9, 2015 when Stanford won 9-8 in an NCAA semifinal at Avery Aquatic Center. It was also the first time a road team has won at Uytengsu Aquatics Center since the Cardinal did so on March 8, 2015 (12-9).

Makenzie Fischer keyed a strong start for Stanford, scoring two of her team's first three goals. The Cardinal drew an exclusion in transition and Fischer skipped it in right after the sides came even at 6:57 in the first quarter. She tacked on another more than five minutes later after Stone made a save and pushed ahead to the freshman streaking up the right side of the pool.

Fischer's two first-quarter scores sandwiched a back-hand, inside-water lob from Jamie Neushul at 5:56 and one of Brigitta Games' game-high three goals for USC with 3:57 on the clock.

The offenses exploded in the second, each scoring four times. With the shot clock down to three on Stanford's first possession of the period, Jordan Raney fired from distance and scored (7:07). Stephania Haralabidis bagged USC's second at 6:37, but the Cardinal forged ahead with two more from Katie Dudley and Madison Berggren to go up 6-2.

Dudley took a one-touch pass from Raney on the doorstep in the 6-on-5 (4:45) and Berggren was money with a lefty lob (4:07) the next time down the pool.

Games was good again after fighting for position in front at 3:36, but Neushul pegged one to the inside post from eight meters out 30 seconds later to increase Stanford's lead to 7-3.

The Trojans weren't dead in the water, scoring three unanswered to pull to within one, 7-6, at 2:28 in the third.

Raney ended what was a nine-minute scoreless drought for the Cardinal when she settled at the top of Stanford's offensive set, pumped and scored with 2:01 on the clock. Her goal ignited a five-score run that put the game away.

Steffens rattled the cage with 17 ticks left in the third and then Jackovich went back-to-back to begin the fourth. She started with a back-handed strike that was her 100th career goal and then skipped home No. 101 after finding some space in front midway through the final frame. Fellow Midwesterner Katie Dudley was calm while draped by a pair of USC defenders, gripped it and ripped it past keeper Amanda Longan for Stanford's final score with 4:09 to go.

The Trojans' Games and Ioanna Harlabidis tacked on a couple of late goals with the result already in hand.

Stanford will have another showdown for first place in the MPSF when it hosts UCLA (18-1, 4-0 MPSF) next Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. in a game that is part of the department's Cardinalpalooza festivities.

*Ucla 13, ARIZONA STATE 5

Recap by UCLA

TEMPE, Ariz. -- The No. 3 UCLA women's water polo team defeated No. 4 Arizona State Saturday at the Mona Plummer Aquatic Center, 13-5. Four Bruins posted multi-goal games in the win, led by Alexa Tielmann, with four. On the defensive side, Rachel Fattal totaled four steals to become UCLA's all-time career leader in the category. Following an exclusion on the Sun Devils' Claudia Abad, UCLA's Alys Williams used the six-on-five advantage to net the game's first goal at 5:30 of the opening frame. Fattal followed with an even-strength effort of her own at 2:53 to push the lead to 2-0. Abad cut the Sun Devil deficit in half with a six-on-five score at 1:18 of the frame to send the game to its first break with the Bruins leading, 2-1. Scoring came early and often in the second frame, as Williams scored her second goal of the game 14 seconds into the frame. Abad added her second 29 seconds later, only to be answered by the Bruins' Maddie Musselman 31 seconds after that. Fattal followed suit with her second at 6:23 of the quarter to put the UCLA (18-1, 4-0) lead at 5-2. The Sun Devils' Bente Rogge capitalized on a Mackenzie Barr exclusion at 4:56 of the frame, setting up a run on goals by the Bruins' Tielmann. The redshirt senior contributed two even-strength scores at 3:00 and 18 seconds to send UCLA to the half with a 7-3 lead over Arizona State (18-6, 2-3). Tielmann kept the goals coming to open the second half, as she found the back of the net 24 seconds into the third quarter. Musselman (4:43) posted her second of the game, while Bronte Halligan added her first (1:13) and goalie Carlee Kapana and the Bruins kept the Sun Devils scoreless for the game's third frame. The sophomore posted eight saves on the afternoon. Lizette Rozeboom got into the act with a six-on-five goal at 7:14 of the final quarter to push the Bruin lead to 11-3. The Sun Devils' Alkistis Benekou scored at 5:55 of the frame, but again, the Bruins quickly answered. Tielmann posted her fourth goal of the game at 5:24 to give her 10 over the Bruins' last four games. Maud Koopman scored ASU's final goal at 5:07, while Musselman completed her hat trick at 1:52 to finalize scoring at 13-5. Saturday's win began three weeks of play against nation's best to conclude the regular season. The Bruins will next make a trip north to Stanford, where they will take on the No. 2 Cardinal in a 3:00 p.m. game at Avery Aquatic Center.

*California 12, SAN JOSE STATE 6

Recap by Cal

SARATOGA -- Stephanie Mutafyan, Emma Wright and Anna Illes scored consecutive goals to begin the fourth period and the No. 5 Cal women's water polo team pulled away from No. 16 San Jose State for a 12-6 victory at West Valley College on Saturday.

Illes and senior Stephanie Mutafyan led the Bears (14-6, 2-3 MPSF) with three goals apiece while Dora Antal, Rachael Lewin and Emma Wright each added a pair. Madeline Trabucco and Madison Tagg split time in the cage for Cal and combined for seven saves.

After the Spartans scored the first goal of the game, Cal responded with five consecutive scores to take an early lead. Illes scored two during that stretch to make it 5-1 midway through the second quarter.

San Jose State answered with three straight goals to trim the Bears' advantage to 5-4 at halftime but Cal opened the third quarter with three in a row to go back in front, 8-4. After SJSU scored again, the Bears went on the decisive run to start the fourth and cruised the rest of the way.

Saturday marked Cal's fourth win over the Spartans this season, outscoring SJSU by an average of 7.87 goals.

The Bears will finish the regular season next Saturday against No. 1 USC at Spieker Aquatics Complex. The game begins at 1 p.m. and will serve as Senior Day, as Cal will honor seniors Trabucco, Mutafyan and fellow seniors Emily Loughlin and Genevieve Weed in a special pregame ceremony.