By Andrew Tan
Following a week off, No. 2 Stanford women’s water polo (6-0, 1-0 MPSF) looks to preserve their undefeated record as they return to play Saturday at No. 11 UC Davis (6-6, 0-0 Big West). The Cardinal have yet to play a competitive game after blowing their first six opponents, ranked and unranked, out of the water.
In those six games, Stanford has scored a program-record 130 goals to this point in the season with an average margin of victory of 15.33 goals. This number, an average of 21.67 goals a game, smashes the previous high-water mark of 99 goals (16.50 per game) set in 2017. The colossal figure also dwarfs the next highest scoring team in MPSF, USC (15.92 per game).
Individually, junior Makenzie Fischer leads the MPSF with 4.8 goals per game for a total of 29. Others in the top 10 include freshman Madison Stamen, tied for fourth (2.67), and sophomores Sarah Klass and Aria Fischer, tied for eighth (2.33).
Before its week-long break, Stanford was in the midst of a hot streak after deflating No. 8 Michigan (21-9), No. 19 Indiana (25-4) and No. 4 Cal (17-10) in the home Stanford Invitational. Stanford currently sits behind only No. 1 USC (12-0, 0-0 MPSF) in national rankings and hopes to continue its recent play to keep the pressure on the Trojans.
As far as their upcoming opponent is concerned, Stanford should have little trouble dispatching UC Davis, a team whose best win so far came in a narrow one-goal victory over Michigan, who the Cardinal eviscerated in the spirit of University of Michigan’s mascot. Davis has also scored more than 15 goals only once in a 21-6 win over unranked Fresno Pacific; meanwhile, Stanford has never scored fewer than 17 goals in a game. All signs point to another blowout by Stanford, who should make quick work of the Aggies and have the game wrapped up by the end of the first quarter.
Perhaps the most exciting part of this game will be whether Davis can better the 15.33 average losing margin of Stanford’s opponents. If Davis started with a 15-goal lead, maybe this game would be interesting. Alas, such is not the case, so expect the Cardinal to grab another victory and continue their march toward their seemingly inevitable undefeated clash with USC.
First sprint starts at 3 p.m. on Saturday at Schaal Aquatics Center in Davis.
Contact Andrew Tan at tandrew ‘at’ stanford.edu.