Second-ranked Stanford women’s water polo (18-2, 5-1 MPSF) wrapped up its home slate on Saturday, cruising to a 17-3 win over No. 16 San Jose State (10-17, 1-5) and honoring its six seniors playing in their final game at Avery Aquatic Center.
It was the second meeting between the teams, with the Cardinal having topped the Spartans 17-1 to open the season in January. Saturday’s proceedings unfolded similarly, as junior Jordan Raney scored a hat trick, while senior Maggie Steffens added a pair of goals for before the halftime mark to take a 7-1 Stanford lead into halftime.
The Cardinal women came out steaming in the second half, scoring five consecutive goals, including a fourth from Raney and third from Steffens, to put the match out of question. Leading 14-3 heading into the fourth quarter, Stanford shut out SJSU in the fourth while tacking on three to make the final score 17-3. Senior Jamie Neushul caught fire in the second half, scoring three in the third and adding a fourth in the final period.
Though the Spartans struggled to advance the ball against a stifling Stanford defense, the Cardinal goalkeepers were firm in goal when tested. Senior Gabby Stone recorded five saves, and Julia Hermann added another three.
Head coach John Tanner and the crowd at Avery honored seniors Dani Jackovich, Sophia Monaghan, Jamie Neushul, Cassidy Papa, Maggie Steffens and Gabby Stone with a pre-game ceremony, as the group of six put the finishing touches on their college careers.
With six minutes left in the game, Tanner subbed his seniors out for a final standing ovation from the fans. All six players enjoyed monumental success during their time on the Farm, winning nearly 90 percent of their games and bringing home national championships in 2014 and 2015.
With the regular season complete, Stanford heads into MPSF Tournament play in Southern California ahead of the year-end NCAA Championships in Indianapolis. Stanford earned the second seed in this year’s conference tournament in a goal-differential tiebreaker after No. 1 UCLA defeated No. 2 USC (tied with Stanford in the national rankings) 11-7 this weekend.
Seventh-seed CSU Bakersfield (12-15, 0-6) will be Stanford’s first opponent in tournament play, a team that the Cardinal easily handled 19-2 exactly a month ago. The match begins at 11 am on Friday at UCLA.
Contact Neel Ramachandran at neelr ‘at’ stanford.edu.