LOS ANGELES, Sept. 24. TOP-ranked and defending NCAA champ Stanford (7-0, 1-0 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation) downed 12th-ranked U Cal Santa Barbara's Gauchos (2-5, 0-1 MPSF) by a 16-6 margin in its conference opener Saturday at the Cardinal's Avery Aquatic Center.
Sophomore Tony Azevedo, last season's collegiate player of the year and a Sydney Olympian, blasted home five goals to pace the Stanford victory.
UC Santa Barbara took the quick lead in the first quarter with Ian Christensen knocking down the ijitial score a minute into the game. Stanford rallied on a 6-on-5 advantage goal by sophomore Reed Gallogly but the
Gauchos came right back on a man-up goal by Doug Arthur.
Gallogly fired another goal for the second tie of the day, but with 44 seconds left in the first period, freshman Thomas Hopkins blocked a Gaucho shot and senior keeper Nick Ellis passed the ball to Azevedo on the fast break for the go-ahead score.
The Cardinal took advantage of its first lead of the game and never looked back, shutting out UC Santa Barbara 5-0 in the second quarter. With an 8-2 lead at halftime, the Cardinal returned to the pool for the second half and added eight more goals. The defense held the Gauchos to four more tallies, bringing the final score to 16-6.
Ellis collected four saves during his three quarters of action before freshman Chad Taylor relieved him in the fourth and picked up one more save. Gaucho goalie Sherwin Kim stopped six Stanford attempts. Christensen and Andrew Schoneberger each recorded two goals in the Gaucho loss, while nine different Cardinal players scored today, including freshman Peter Varellas, who put up his first collegiate goal in the fourth quarter.
The Cardinal's next game is Saturday, Sept. 28 at Pepperdine, then it travels down the coast on Sunday, Sept. 29 to Loyola Marymount — site of this year's NCAA Final Four in early December. Both game times are set for noon. Stanford's next home game is Thursday, Oct. 10 at 5 p.m. against the University of Pacific.
Stanford Scoring: Tony Azevedo 5, Mike Derse 2, Reed Gallogly 2, Peter Hudnut 2, Ryan Caswell 1, Greg Crum 1, Jeff Guyman 1, Jeff Nesmith 1, Peter Varellas 1.
UCSB Scorers: Ian Christensen 2, Andrew Schoneberger 2, Doug Arthur 1, David Letts 1.
Goalie Saves: Nick Ellis (Stan) 4, Chad Taylor (Stan) 1; Sherwin Kim (UCSB) 6.
6-on-5: Stanford 4-5 (6-on-4: 1-1); UCSB 4-10.
* * * * *
LOS ANGELES – The No. 6 Univerity of Southern California men's water polo team (8-2, 1-0) continues MPSF play with a key matchup against No. 4 UCLA (3-2, 0-0) on Sept. 28 1 pm PDT in McDonald's Olympic Swim Stadium Pool.
The Bruins defeated the Trojans, 9-7, in overtime in a non-conference match Sept. 15 at the So-Cal Tournament at SC.
The Trojans, 1998 NCAA Champs, opened MPSF play with a 9-5 win on last Saturday at Long Beach State and upset No. 2 U Cal Irvine at home, 8-7, in a non-conference contest on Sunday.
In his eighth season as the head coach of the men's water polo program, SC's Jovan Vavic has built the Trojans into a national power, which culminated with the national championship four years ago.
Vavic came to SC as an assistant men's water polo coach to John Williams in 1992 and was named co-head coach in 1995. He took over the reins as head coach in 1999 when Williams retired. Vavic is also the head coach for the SC women's polo team.
During the 1998-99 season, Vavic did something no other coach has accomplished as his teams won three national championships: besides capturing the 1998 men's and 1999 women's titles, his 1999 men's club team won the U.S. Water Polo Federation's men's Senior National Club Championship.
Vavic has a 30-year water polo career. In addition to his coaching experience, he was a member of a Yugoslavian club team that was a four-time junior national champion (1973-74-76-77). Jovan also played for the Montenegro state team, which won the Yugoslav Nationals in 1977 and 1978.
Trojan junior Bozidar Damjanovic (Belgrade,Yugoslavia) is his team's No. 1 goalie. After recording 83 saves in 16 matches as a freshman in 2000, Damjanovic recorded 138 saves in 20 games as a sophomore in '01. This season, he has 74 saves in 10 matches, including 12 against Pepperdine on Sept. 15 at the So-Cal Tournament.
Junior driver Gadi Hadar (Kibutz-Givat-Haim-Ichud, Israel) leads the men of Troy with 17 goals this season. Sophomore utility transfer Stephen Lipinski
(Palo Alto/Loyola Marymount) is second with 15 goals. Lipinski scored five times last weekend, including a team-high two in Sunday's 8-7 upset win against No. 2 UC Irvine. Freshman two-meter Jaraj Zatovic (Bratislava, Slovakia) is third on the team with 14 goals.
* * * * *
Coach Terry Schroeder's Pepperdine Waves, before facing Stanford this weekend, travel to Irvine on Thursday (Sept.26) to face Coach Ed Newlin's
AntEaters in a key MPSF match-up.
– Bill Bell