By Sally Egan
This weekend, the No. 2 Stanford men’s water polo team (15-1) takes on No. 9 UC Davis (13-5) on Saturday at noon and No. 11 UC Irvine (7-10) on Sunday at 1pm in their final two home games of the regular season. The team will be led by sophomores Ben Hallock and Tyler Abramson on offense, each of whom have 42 goals on the season. On defense, the Cardinal will be led by senior goalkeeper Oliver Lewis, who has 174 saves on the season and is allowing an average of only 6.46 goals per game.
Stanford is coming off a strong weekend in which they swept past their opponents, No. 20 Wagner and No. 7 Pacific, by a combined score of 34-11. That weekend featured strong performances from freshman Jackson Seybold who scored four goals in total over the weekend, with a hat trick over Wagner. Seybold was named the MPSF Newcomer of the Week for his efforts. Senior Marco Stanchi also had a hat trick against Wagner, and Hallock and Abramson each scored five goals against Pacific.
UC Davis is currently riding a four-game win streak, but they also only notched one victory over a ranked opponent in that stretch, a close 12-11 win over No. 11 UC- San Diego. On offense, the Aggies are led by Ido Goldschmidt, with 37 goals on the season, and Marcus Anderson, with 32 goals. Defensively, Goalkeeper RJ Quigley has 85 saves and 22 steals on the season, with Jack Stafford adding another 22 steals. Surprisingly, these two teams haven’t met since 2015l when Stanford easily won 18-6.
UC Irvine is going through a rough patch, losing six of their last eight games, though all five of the six losses were to Top-10 ranked teams. They are led by goalkeeper Byron Rivers with 170 saves and Casey Lynton with 18 steals on defense. Look out for Jason Evezard on offense, as his 50 goals on the season lead Irvine’s second place scorer by 19 goals. Stanford and UC- Irvine last met in 2017 when Stanford won 11-5, with Hallock and senior Blake Parrish each scoring a goal. In the last 10 seasons against the Anteaters, Stanford is 12-0. This is the last home regular season game for Stanford’s three seniors, Lewis, Stanchi and Parrish.
Stanford only has two more regular season games left this season – at UCLA and Cal – before they start postseason play.
Contact Sally Egan at egansj18 ‘at’ stanford.edu.