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Water polo rolls Cal, SDSU heading into imposing duel with No. 1 USC

(RAHIM ULLAH/The Stanford Daily)

The No. 3 Cardinal women’s water polo team rolled in dominant fashion over the weekend, as Stanford (19-2, 4-0 MPSF) beat No. 7 Cal (19-7, 1-3) and No. 18 San Diego State (13-14, 5-0 GCC) by scores of 13-5 and 14-5 respectively, to stretch its winning streak to a season-best eight matches.

(RAHIM ULLAH/The Stanford Daily)
Junior goalkeeper Julia Hermann (above) combined for 19 saves in the Cardinal’s victories over Cal and SDSU over the weekend. No. 1 USC looms next in a rematch of a narrow 7-6 loss for the Cardinal a month ago. (RAHIM ULLAH/The Stanford Daily)

Five players (Madison Berggren, Dani Jackovich, Anna Yelizarova, Jamie Neushul and Gurpreet Sohi) scored hat tricks in the Cardinal’s two victories, while goalie Julia Hermann added a combined 19 saves.

On Saturday, Stanford jumped out to a 4-0 lead by the end of the first quarter — which included three goals from 6-on-5 situations — and never looked back. After a sluggish second period in which the Golden Bears outscored the Cardinal 3-1 and were a pair of goals away from tying the score, Stanford surged with a six-goal third quarter that put the game out of reach. In the fourth quarter, goals from Jackovich and Yelizarova and a shutout from Hermann sealed the deal for the Cardinal, capping their 13-5 win. It was only the second time this season that Cal had allowed an opponent to score double-digit goals.

The win marked the Cardinal’s revenge from earlier this season: Stanford fell to Cal in early February, a 5-2 loss that featured the team’s lowest scoring output since 2005. That game is one of Stanford’s two losses on the season — the other being against USC.

Similarly to the day before, the Cardinal got off to a solid start against San Diego State on Sunday, with Kat Klass and Neushul scoring two apiece in the first two quarters to give Stanford a 5-2 advantage at the half. The team increased its three-point lead at halftime to a six-point margin by the end of the third quarter, though Stanford finished strongest in their five-goal fourth quarter. Nine players contributed to the team’s goal count against the Aztecs, most prominently Neushul and Sohi, who had hat tricks, as well as Klass, who had a brace.

Next up for the Cardinal will be a tough matchup against the undefeated No. 1 USC Trojans (19-0, 4-0). The Trojans eked out a narrow 7-6 victory over Stanford a month ago, but the Cardinal will seek to ride the momentum of their recent eight-game win streak as they try to hand USC its first loss of the season.

The game will take place this Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Avery Aquatic Center.

 

Contact Alexa Philippou at aphil723 ‘at’ stanford.edu.

 

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