By Sally Egan
Coming off a tough loss to No. 3 USC last Sunday, the No. 2 Stanford men’s water polo team (15-1, 1-0 MPSF) capped off a successful weekend in dominating fashion on a beautiful Sunday afternoon at Avery Aquatic Center.
The Cardinal began their weekend on Friday night with a 19-4 victory over No. 20 Wagner (11-12) in a game that seemed decided by halftime. Stanford established dominance quickly with sophomore Ben Hallock scoring 1:15 into the game. By the end of the first quarter, the score was already 8-0 with six different Stanford players scoring.
In total, 11 different players scored for the Cardinal, including three goals apiece by freshman Jackson Seybold and senior Marco Stanchi. The defensive effort was led by senior goalkeeper Oliver Lewis with 10 saves, and freshman goalkeeper George Hagestad, who recorded a career-high four saves. The game was decided almost immediately; the difference in skill was palpable.
Two days later, Stanford hosted No. 7 Pacific (9-8) in a rematch from the previous weekend. In last weekend’s game, the Cardinal emerged with a close 14-13 victory, but Sunday’s meeting wasn’t nearly as close. Sophomore Tyler Abramson scored off a skip shot 40 seconds into the game, and less than a minute later, Hallock scored with several men defending him. However, Pacific responded quickly, and Stanford led only 4-1 after the first quarter.
Pacific then got the score to 4-2 in the second quarter but never got close to leading again, as Stanford went on to score three straight. At the half, the score was 8-3, led by Hallock’s three goals and Lewis’s four saves. A low-scoring third quarter led to a dominant fourth quarter offensive effort by Stanford, with Hallock, Abramson, senior Blake Parrish and freshman Quinn Woodhead all scoring in the final eight minutes en route to a 15-7 victory. Hallock and Abramson both finished with personal season records of five goals on the day, and Lewis added 11 saves. Bennett Williams, Quinn Woodhead and Dylan Woodhead also led the team with two assists each.
Nine games into an 11-game homestand, Stanford is approaching the end of another successful regular season, with its only loss being the close 9-10 defeat to USC last weekend. The Cardinal finish their home games with next Saturday’s match at 1 p.m. against UC Davis and then play again next Sunday at 1 p.m. against UC Irvine before finishing their last two regular season games on the road at UCLA and Cal.
Contact Sally Egan at egansj18 ‘at’ stanford.edu.