No. 1 Stanford women’s water polo (3-0, 0-0) proved why they are the best in the West on Sunday afternoon, beating No. 14 Long Beach State (1-2, 0-0) 19-5 at Avery Aquatic Center.
The undefeated Cardinal stalled early, and for eight minutes, the match remained a close 3-1. Senior and Rio Olympics MVP Maggie Steffens registered an impressive hat trick before the first quarter came to an end to give Stanford the edge entering the second quarter.
Steffens would go on to amass six goals on the outing, dominating the competition. After a relatively sluggish first quarter, the Cardinal were able to pull away thanks to a seven-goal second quarter marked by strong offensive play.
Stanford’s many offensive threats showed on the spreadsheet, with five of the scorers registering two goals or more and three more netting one. The Cardinal’s many offensive weapons will certainly come in handy as the team looks forward to the rest of the season and stronger competition to come.
After failing to appear on the scoreboard in the second quarter, Long Beach attempted to jump-start its offense to start the third quarter. While successful in putting three in the back of the net, the 49ers ultimately could not stop Steffens and seniors Dani Jackovich and Jamie Neushul, who all scored in the first three minutes to keep the momentum firmly in Stanford’s hands.
On the defensive side, Stanford was rock solid, allowing at most three goals per quarter. Senior Gabby Stone had an impressive 11 saves in three quarters, stopping any offensive momentum Long Beach could muster.
Stanford looks to keep its undefeated streak against No. 20 Loyola Marymount on Saturday morning at Avery Aquatic Center.
Contact Julia Massaro at jmassaro ‘at’ stanford.edu.