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Men’s water polo beats San José State to close regular season

Cardinal now prepare for MPSF Tournament

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No. 4 Stanford (17-5, 0-3 MPSF) concluded its regular season with an 18-12 win over No. 8 San José State (15-14, 2-3 GCC) on Saturday in San Jose.

The first quarter started fairly even-keeled with each team exchanging runs of stellar offense. With 0:01 left on the clock, sophomore driver Ethan Parrish scored a critical goal to close the quarter tied, 6-6. 

The second quarter went heavily in favor of the Cardinal. Stanford was able to drive the ball up the pool and score multiple unanswered goals while locking down the Spartans defensively. The half ended 11-8 in Stanford’s favor.

The second half started with scoring problems for both teams. However, after senior driver Quinn Woodhead scored at 4:58, both teams started shooting better. Even non-shooters got hot, like goalie Yahav Fire who scored during this stretch for SJSU. By the end of the quarter, the Cardinal were up on the Spartans, 14-10. 

In the fourth quarter, the pattern of starting slow before closing the period with a scoring run continued. After multiple defensive stops from both teams, the Cardinal were able to extend their lead and ended with an 18-12 Stanford victory. 

Stanford made 18 goals on 33 shots to shoot 54.5%, and the high shooting efficiency proved to be a game changer. In contrast, the Cardinal shot under 30% in their most recent game, a loss to Cal

Woodhead led the team in goals with four, followed by junior driver Larsen Weigle with a hat trick. Four other players scored two each.

Uncharacteristically, graduate student driver Tyler Abramson, who often leads the team in scoring, was held to only one shot attempt and no goals. This is the first time Abramson was held to no points since the St. Francis Brooklyn game on Sept. 10. 

Sophomore goalie Nolan Krutonog ended the game with 11 saves in 31:37. Parrish, despite not being listed as a goalie, also had 0:23 seconds defending the net.

Now with the regular season behind them, Stanford will play in the first round of the MPSF tournament, entering as the No. 4 seed. The Cardinal next take the pool on Nov. 19 at Avery Aquatic Center. Stanford will face either Austin College or Penn State Behrend.

Despite not winning an MPSF game this season, history is in the Cardinal’s favor as they have won the last three MPSF Championships — a league record.

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Noah is a freshman working with the Sports section of the Daily. Contact Noah at sports 'at' stanforddaily.com.