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Men’s water polo loses heartbreaker in invitational finals

Stanford overcomes San Jose State, Pacific, UCLA, before falling to USC

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The Stanford Men’s Water Polo Team fought well at the Mountain Pacific Invitational Meet held in Avery Aquatic Center this past weekend.

The No.1 seeded Cardinal (13-1) geared up for their first match of the weekend against the San Jose State Spartans (15-7). Redshirt sophomore Ben Hallock and sophomore Tyler Abramson had an impressive showing putting up 4 and 2 goals respectively. By the end of the game nearly every one of the Cardinal players in the water had scored at least one goal. With a final score of 19-8, it was smooth sailing to a victory for Stanford in the opening game.

The Cardinal had to fight through one more qualifier to make it to the semifinal. On Saturday, Stanford played the No. 6 Pacific team (8-7). Hallock again had a strong performance leading the pack with four goals scored. This was a tough match all the way up until the end and Stanford scraped by with a final score of 14-13. Stanford advanced to the semi-finals.

On Saturday night, in a match set under the stars at 5:30 p.m., Stanford went head to head against the No. 2 seeded team UCLA (19-1). It was a fast-paced exhilarating game from start to finish. With only a few seconds remaining the score stood at 7-7. At the last second, freshman Jackson Seybold scored a buzzer-beater goal that electrified the crowd and set up the Cardinal to match up against USC in the finals.

On Sunday afternoon, the scene was set for a true nail-biter of a match in the finals of the Mountain Pacific Invitational. After two days of tough matches Stanford finally was facing off in the finals against the No. 3 USC team (22-1). For much of the game Stanford was down and fighting an uphill battle. Toward the end of the match the Cardinal were able to tie the score from four goals down. Goalie Oliver Lewis was working hard to keep his team in the game with an impressive 14 saves. With barely half a minute left in the match Stanford was outdone by the arm of Trojan Jacob Mercep bringing the final score to 9-10. Stanford came so close, but ultimately USC was the victor of the Mountain Pacific Invitational.

 

Contact Nandini Naidu at nnaidu ‘at’ stanford.edu

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