STANFORD, Calif., Sept. 24. IT doesn't pay to make the Cardinal mad.
Coach John Vargas' Stanford Cardinal, double-defnding NCAA men's water polo champs but 10-9 losers in sudden-death overtime to top-ranked USC (6-0) last Sunday in the finals of the Southern California Tournament at Irvine, took its wrath out on BYU-Hawaii this evening in its home opener at the Avery Aquatic Center.
The result was a 16-8 victory.
No. 2-ranked Stanford (5-1) was led by two-time NCAA Player of the Year Tony Azevedo, who tied his career-high of seven goals, which he first set last season against Loyola-Marymount.
Teammate Thomas Hopkins added a career-high five goals of his own to help power Stanford to an easy win over the 17th-ranked visitors.
Azevedo, a member of the 2000 U.S. Olympic team, following a stellar prep career at Long Beach Wilson High, scored Stanford's first two goals as the Cardinal jumped to a 7-3 first period lead. Hopkins, a sophomore, added three goals in the opening frame while Azevedo added two more in the second period and three more in the third.
The 6-4 Cardinal junior, who is expected to join the US national team at season's end to get ready for Athens, has 16 goals for the season and is on pace for his third-consecutive national scoring title. Hopkins added a goal in the second and fourrh periods to tie him for the team lead in goals — along with Azevedo — with 16.
BYU-Hawaii falls to 2-1 as Mike Rieben led the Seasiders with three goals.
Card coach Vargas is in his second season on The Farm after a brilliant prep and U.S. national team coaching career. A former All-America at U Cal Irvine in the early 1980s, where he helped lead the Anteaters to their first NCAA Championship 21 years ago, Vargas was most recently coach at Southern California prep powerhouse Corona del Mar. There he led the Sea Kings to three consecutive CIF Division II Championships (1999-'01) before taking over from retiring Dante Dettamante.
Stanford is off until next weekend (Oct. 4-5) when it hosts the NorCal Tournament. Then it will get a chance for "payback" when it tangles with the Trojans at USC Oct. 11 prior to the Stanford-USC football game.
BYU-Hawaii (2-1) 3-1-2-2 = 8
Stanford (5-1) 7-4-3-2 = 16
Azevedo 7, Hopkins 5, Derse 2, Varellas 1, Moser 1
Rieben 3, Dow 2, Kalabic 2, Stankovic 1
Taylor (S) 6; Carlson (S) 3;
Caley (BYU) 3