On Friday night, the No. 4 Stanford men’s water polo team will look to continue a five-game winning streak when it battles No. 13 UC-Davis, before taking on No. 7 Pacific on Sunday.
The first game will take place at Schaal Aquatics Center at 6 p.m. So far this year, the Cardinal is 1-1 in Friday night contests, losing a squeaker to No. 3 UCLA on Oct. 15 and dominating No. 11 Santa Clara on Oct. 29.
Stanford (12-5, 5-1 MPSF) will certainly not be happy to, once again, be leaving Avery Aquatic Center and heading on the road—its last 13 home games have all ended in victory for the Cardinal, although due to odd scheduling, a mere three home contests have taken place this season.
UC-Davis, a member of the Western Water Polo Association (WWPA), has had a very successful season to date. The Aggies (15-8, 12-1 WWPA) are currently sitting pretty in second place of the WWPA standings.
The Aggies had a tough game this past weekend, suffering their first league loss, 6-1, to No. 9 Loyola Marymount. With this loss, Davis lost its perfect record in the league as well as its hold on first place. The squad will be looking to rebound in a big way against Stanford.
On offense the Aggies are led by a couple of prolific goal scorers: junior Aaron Salit, who has netted a whopping 43 goals, and senior Cory Lyle, who has scored 31 times. The Aggie defense is stabilized by junior Kevin Peat, who has accumulated 186 saves on the year, to the tune of 10.6 per game.
Stanford will look to play spoiler in Friday’s festivities, and it hopes to keep the wave of momentum that it has accumulated in its recent stretch of inspired play alive.
Friday marks the 12th and final out-of-conference game for Stanford this season—so far, the Card is 7-4 outside of MPSF play.
After facing Davis on Friday, the Cardinal will come home to square off against No. 7 Pacific (14-8, 2-3 MPSF) on Sunday. The Tigers currently sit in sixth place in the conference standings. After tough road losses to USC and UC-Irvine to close out October, Pacific bounced back well last weekend at home, beating Santa Clara, 14-7, before edging UC-Santa Barbara, 8-7, for its second conference win of the season.
Before facing Stanford, the Tigers will play California at home on Saturday.
Goran Tomasevic and Balazs Erdelyi will lead the Pacific offense against Stanford redshirt junior goalkeeper Brian Pingree. The two players have combined for 60 goals this season, accounting for nearly half of the Tigers’ total offensive output.
Alex Malkis will anchor Pacific in goal. While he has 111 saves overall, he has been allowing a relatively high average of 7.14 goals per game.
Stanford will take on UC-Davis on Friday at 6 p.m. in Davis, Calif., then return home to play Pacific on Sunday at 12 p.m.