The top-ranked Stanford women’s water polo team continued its undefeated season with victories against No. 8 Arizona State, No. 4 UCLA and No. 15 UC-Davis in recent weeks.
After a week off for finals, the team faced Arizona State on March 19 in Tempe, Ariz. Showing little rust, Stanford (18-0, 3-0) surged to a 5-0 first period lead. Another 5-0 run in the third period helped the Cardinal defeat the Sun Devils, 14-3.
Sophomore two-meter Annika Dries single-handedly outscored the opponent, registering five goals. Juniors, driver Alyssa Lo and two-meter Melissa Seidemann, also tallied multiple goals with three and two respectively.
While dominating on the offensive end, senior goalkeeper Amber Oland held things down in the cage, tallying eight saves. Sophomore Kate Baldoni had two saves as well.
Stanford has now defeated Arizona State twice this season, once at home and once on the road, averaging 12 goals a contest.
After beating the Sun Devils, the Cardinal returned to the Farm for its home opener in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation play against No. 4 UCLA. The Bruins, winners of five of the last six NCAA championships, held the Card to a season-low five goals. That total was enough, however, as the Cardinal prevailed, 5-2.
Dries continued her excellent offensive contributions with a pair of goals, while junior two-meter defender Monica Coughlan tallied her third goal of the season in the first period to give Stanford the early advantage. Although Stanford had the early lead, excellent goalie play from UCLA kept the game close. Freshman Sami Hall had seven stops and junior Caitlin Dement had four saves.
Stanford also had strong goaltending as Oland tallied five saves for the Cardinal, holding the Bruins to only two goals, both coming from senior defender Megan Burmeister, an alumnus of the nearby Menlo School.
Defeating UCLA improved Stanford’s conference record to 3-0. It was the first time Stanford scored less than nine goals all season.
Just 18 hours later, the Card played another match against a non-conference opponent, No. 15 UC-Davis. Despite the quick turnaround, the team still got off to a quick start, taking a 5-1 first period advantage. Stanford took a 9-2 advantage into halftime and finished with a 12-6 victory.
The Aggies had no answer for Dries and Lo, who each tallied four goals. Baldoni and Oland notched seven and six saves respectively.
With another three strong outings, the Cardinal kept its 18-game winning streak alive. However, arguably one of its hardest tests of the season will be this upcoming weekend as the team heads to USC.
The squad will face reigning national champion No. 3 USC for the third time this season on Saturday. Stanford is scheduled to face No. 13 UC-Irvine on Sunday.