Tonight in Avery Aquatics Center, No. 2 Stanford women’s water polo (10-1) looks to bounce back from a tough loss against No. 1 University of Southern California (17-0) with a win over Santa Clara University (4-7). In all games, other than the anomaly against the Trojans last Sunday, the Cardinal have been dominant in the pool — so watch to see how the Stanford women will rebound.
Stanford certainly is the favorite coming into the game, and its impeccable home record (101-9 since 2008) emphasizes this dominance. The Cardinal have yet to lose a game to the Broncos, going 7-0 in all-time career match ups. In their most recent meeting on Feb. 18, 2017, Stanford came way with a 19-1 victory at the Cal Speedo Cup.
The Cardinal’s high-powered offense will be key to the game tonight. Stanford currently tops the MPSF in goals per game with 17.91, far ahead of the runner up USC that averages only 14.64. In contrast, SCU’s highest scoring game this entire season had just 11 goals.
Individually, junior driver Makenzie Fischer is an integral component in the Cardinal offense. The Laguna Beach native averages 4.27 goals per game and has scored multiple goals in ten of Stanford’s 11 matches this season.
If Fisher is able to score four more goals, she will overtake Kelly Eaton (2007-2010), who is currently in 10th place in the Cardinal’s all time scoring list.
On the defensive side, both redshirt sophomore Emalia Eichelberger and freshman Thea Walsh have seen significant playing time in goal. Eichelberger averages 6.6 goals against, which is the fifth-lowest in the MPSF, and Walsh averages 5.8 goals against, the third lowest in the conference. Eichelberger averages 9.2 saves per game, which is third-most in the MPSF, while Walsh averages 6.4 saves, which is the ninth-most in the conference.
Offensive threats for Santa Clara include senior utility Hannah Buck and junior driver Hailey Eberle — who have 15 and 16 goals on the season, respectively. Senior driver Annie Eldredge dominates the team in assists with 19 — almost double the season total of runner-up, sophomore driver Gabi Sicat. Eldredge also boasts an impressive 13 steals on the season.
Play will begin at 6 p.m. PST tonight at Avery.
Contact Cybele Zhang at cybelez ‘at’ stanford.edu.