By Andrew Tan
Rolling for its seventh consecutive win, No. 2 Stanford women’s water polo (7-0, 1-0 MPSF) sank No. 11 UC Davis (6-8, 0-0 Big West) with a huge 17-6 victory on Saturday afternoon. Junior Makenzie Fischer again lead the Cardinal attack with six goals for the fourth time in five games, putting on a display that likely made Warner Bros. consider recasting Aquaman.
The win only augmented Stanford’s gaudy stats thus far in the young season, pushing its total margin of victory to 147-44. While Fischer continues to reel off goals, now averaging five per game, Stanford continues its torrid pace, good for the program’s best-ever offensive start.
Like a bull rampaging through the streets of Pamplona, the Cardinal came out of the gate fast, launching shots on the Aggie goal to finish the first quarter 5-2. By the end of the first period, Fischer had already bagged a hat trick, her last goal coming with seven seconds left in the quarter. Sophomore Sarah Klass tacked on another pair of goals to help Stanford take a solid lead into the second.
As the teams headed into the second frame, Stanford smelled blood. Though it seemed in the first quarter that the Cardinal had sworn an oath that Aggies are friends, not food, the opening sprint of the second quarter sent Stanford into a feeding frenzy. The Card put six past Davis while conceding none as Makenzie (1), freshman Chloe Harbilas (1), junior Hannah Shabb (2), freshman Madison Stamen (1) and sophomore Aria Fischer (1) all scored to take the score to 11-2 at the half. The latter three goals, scored by Stamen, Makenzie and Aria in the span of 66 seconds, resembled the kickoff glitch in the popular soccer video game FIFA, in which the team that starts with the ball scores instantly.
To its credit, Davis came out of the half as spirited as a team vastly overmatched and down by nine goals could. The Aggies showed fight in the final two quarters, only losing each quarter by a score of 3-2, yet this was nothing but window dressing for a final score, which signaled that Stanford had delivered a can of whoop-ass to its opponent.
The third quarter featured two more goals from Makenzie to bring her total on the day up to six, equalling the number of goals Davis scored as a team. Goalkeepers sophomore Emalia Eichelberger and freshman Thea Walsh both played well, recording six and four saves, respectively. When the clock ran dry at the end of the fourth, it was quite clear that the match was lopsided from the start. The game could be accurately described as the battle of Davis and Goliath, except instead of a large, muscular man, Goliath was a team of water ninjas.
Coming off another resounding victory, Stanford goes on the road again next weekend for the Barbara Kalbus Invitational at UC Irvine. The Cardinal’s first game is on Friday against CSUN at 11:15 a.m.
Contact Andrew Tan at tandrew’at’stanford.edu.