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Men’s water polo dominates Spartans

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Stanford, CA - October 17, 2015.  Stanford Men's Water Polo vs UCLA at the Avery Aquatic Center on the Stanford Campus.
Sophomore driver Blake Parrish (above) scored four goals in the Cardinal’s dominant 15-3 performance vs. San Jose State. Parrish currently leads the team in goals with 35 this season (SHIRLEY PEFLEY/stanfordphoto.com).

No. 5 Cardinal men’s water polo (11-2, 3-1 MPSF) continued their victory streak as they routed San Jose State (2-10) 15-3 on Sunday afternoon at the Avery Aquatic Center.

This is the second time that the Cardinal have beaten San Jose State this season. The last meeting took place during the Mountain Pacific Invitational and resulted in a 20-6 Stanford triumph.

The game, although part of regular season play, is important if the Cardinal hope to be in a good position entering the MPSF Championships, which start on Friday, Nov. 18.

Sunday also conveyed the cementation of the force that is the Cardinal offense. Sophomore driver Blake Parrish, who has led the team in goals so far this season, scored four goals throughout the match, three of which were within the first half of playing time.

The first goal came with less than two minutes left in the first period. After this, the Cardinal went on a four-goal streak, leaving the Spartans in the dust.

From the Spartan end, no goals were scored for the first nine minutes of play. This was broken when freshman two-meter Finn Pardon scored in the second quarter.

Pardon also scored a second goal in the match, and the Spartans’ third was put in my sophomore driver Zachary Scudder.

Parrish, who has now recorded 35 goals this year, was additionally named MPSF Player of the Week on Monday. Parrish and his offensive line have been a force to be reckoned with throughout the season. The team has recorded 170 goals, while their opponents have only managed 75.

Sophomore driver Mitchell Mendoza has also contributed greatly to this with 25 goals, two of which occurred on Sunday afternoon. Fellow driver junior Cody Smith scored once on Sunday, tallying up to a sum of 23 goals this season. Junior two-meter Harrison Enright also scored twice against the Spartans.

Although the high number of goals scored against opponents can be attributed to a strong and precise offense, the lack of goals scored against the Cardinal must be ascribed to a strong defense and Stanford goalkeepers.

The Stanford team hosts two goalkeepers this year: freshman Andrew Chun and junior Oliver Lewis. The two have taken turns playing, both with good results.

Lewis, who has played the equivalent of 9 games, has had 6.54 goals-against-average. This means that Lewis has saved around 10.6 goals per game and, in nine games, has only allowed 58 goals in. He has managed an impressive 94 saves in this season alone.

The newcomer Chun has also impressed audiences during the four games that he has played. Chun’s goals-against-average currently stands at 4.12, with 8.5 saves per game and 35 total saves.

This pair has allowed the whole team to shift focus on their offensive strategy and shot output.

After this game, the Cardinal has a break to work on these strengths, along with further reducing weaknesses.

These will be tested as Stanford takes on UC Santa Barbara on Sunday, Oct. 22, on the road.

 

Contact Laura Sussman at laura111 ‘at’ stanford.edu.

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