After being named an All-American as a high school senior at Menlo School, a stone’s throw from Palm Drive, senior Scott Platshon earned the starting goalkeeper job this season for the Stanford men’s water polo team. Platshon allowed just one goal in his first career start and has No. 3 Stanford set to make a run at a NCAA Tournament berth when the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament begins on Nov. 23.
The floodgates opened during the second quarter of this year’s annual Big Splash against California, and by the end of the game Stanford was drowning in goals. A 4-0 second quarter that turned into an 8-2 run for California led to a lopsided 14-8 drubbing on Saturday morning at Berkeley’s Spieker Aquatics Complex.
Stanford (8-3, 2-1 MPSF) makes a visit to Berkeley’s Spieker Aquatics Complex this Saturday for the Big Splash with a chance to drop the Golden Bears to 0-3 in conference play. With a win, the fifth-ranked Cardinal would also have its first three-game winning streak of the season.
Then, in what seemed like the blink of an eye, USC (15-0, 2-0 MPSF) ambushed the back of the Cardinal net and put the game out of reach with four third-quarter goals and a stalwart defensive display. The first of those goals came less than 30 seconds into the second half, and the Trojans followed it up with another before 60 seconds had ticked off the game clock.
USC’s water polo team comes barreling into Stanford’s Avery Aquatic Center this Saturday with as much momentum as one could imagine. The four-time defending NCAA champions are 14-0 on the season, which includes two first-place finishes at major early season tournaments, all while outscoring their opponents 203-63.
The underclassmen are already taking command. Led by a trio of young gunners—freshmen drivers Bret Bonanni and B.J. Churnside along with sophomore utility Alex Bowen—Stanford took third place in the NorCal Invitational this weekend at the Avery Aquatic Center.