Second-ranked Stanford women’s water polo (20-3) travels a long way to Indianapolis this weekend in hopes of notching a sixth NCAA title by continuing the momentum of a largely successful season.
The team will begin the weekend by taking on the eighth-ranked team, Pacific (21-8), at 12:30 p.m. on Friday. The Tigers host a strong and accurate offense, led by Kyra Christmas (59 goals), Karolina Hlavata and Mariana Duarte (41 goals apiece). The Cardinal, though, will be a tough opponent to oust, with senior goalkeepers Gabby Stone and Julia Hermann managing 8.36 and 6.73 saves per game, respectively.
This being said, the Stanford squad has also held its ground with some outstanding offensive performances. Senior Maggie Steffens has netted 55 goals this season, putting her fourth in all-time goal records at Stanford with a total of 219 during her four years on the Farm. Makenzie Fischer has also tallied an astounding 48 goals during her first year as a Cardinal. Senior Jamie Neushul adds 35 more to the team’s total of 315 goals. This will be the first time the two teams meet this year.
The winner of this Friday matchup will go on to play either No. 3 USC (28-3) or No. 7 Michigan (28-8) in the semifinal round on Saturday at 2 p.m.
If Stanford advances to the semifinals, it will have an arduous contest against whichever of the aforementioned teams wins their first bout.
The final championship game will take place on Sunday at noon. The live stream of games can be found at ncaa.com/liveschedule.
Contact Laura Sussman at laura111 ‘at’ stanford.edu.