Water Polo Wednesday: No. 2 Stanford Upsets Top-Ranked USC

The marquee match last weekend in women's water polo was the Stanford-USC match April 13 at the Trojans' home pool in Los Angeles, California. The second-ranked Cardinal upset the top ranked Trojans, 6-4, to hand them their first defeat this season. Several conference matchups took place last weekend as well. But let's begin with the CWPA Southern and Western Division Championships, which were held last weekend to determine seedings for the CWPA Eastern Championships April 26-28 at the University of Michigan's Canham Natatorium.

Southern Division, April 13-14, Providence, Rhode Island
The Princeton Tigers defeated the host Brown Bears for the second consecutive season to gain this year's Southern Division Championship by a final score of 12-4. Goalie Ashleigh Johnson, along with the Princeton defense, held Brown scoreless during two quarters of the match. Johnson finished with 15 saves and three assists. Offensively, Katie Rigler and Saranna Soroka each scored a hat trick, with Ashley Hatcher and Camille Hooks adding two each. For the Bears, Katharine Booher scored two goals and one assist, with Madison Pepper and Liz Rosen each netting one goal. Bear goalie Sarah Shin had 11 saves.

In other Southern Division action, Harvard defeated George Washington 15-11 for third place, and Bucknell upended Mercyhurst 9-4 for fifth.

Complete results can be found here.

Western Division, April 13-14, Geneva, Ohio
At the SPIRE Institute, Indiana's Shae Fournier broke an 11-11 tie with just four seconds remaining in regulation play to give the Hoosiers a 12-11 win over Hartwick. The Hawks had rallied from a two-goal deficit with 38 seconds left in the fourth period; the tying goal came from Jemma Dendy Young.

The victory gave Indiana its first-ever Western Division title. Fourner wound up with a hat trick in the game; Meghan Lappan and Jakie Kohli contributed two each. The only multi-scorer for the Hawks was Sami Capparelli, who found the back of the net four times; seven other players scored one goal apiece.

Michigan's 14-3 triumph over Gannon gave them third place, with Gannon taking fourth. Notre Dame (Ohio), with its 20-6 loss to Michigan in semifinals, placed fifth.

Complete results can be found here.

The Varsity Governance Council took into consideration such items as won-loss record, strength of schedule and head-to-head competition in selecting the seeding for the Eastern Championships. The 12 teams to compete will be:
1. Indiana University (Western Division champion)
2. Princeton University (Southern Division champion)
3. Hartwick College (Western Division second place)
4. University of Michigan (Western Division third place)
5. Brown University (Southern Division second place)
6. Harvard University (Southern Division third place)
7. George Washington University (Southern Division fourth place)
8. Bucknell University (Southern Division fifth place)
9. Mercyhurst University (Southern Division sixth place)
10. Gannon University (Western Division fourth place)
11. Notre Dame College (Western Division fifth place)
12. Connecticut College (Division III champion)

Connecticut College's participation was made possible by a vote last June by the sport's coaches and administrators. They are eligible to compete–and have a chance to claim the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Championships March 10-12 at Harvard University.

No. 2 Stanford vs. No. 1 USC, April 13
Thanks to Stanford's 3-1 lead after the first period, the No. 2 Cardinal avenged an earlier 13-10 defeat at the hands of the USC Trojans, giving them their first loss of the season, 6-4. Stanford scored the first three goals of the contest before USC got on the board with 1:12 left in the first period. The Trojans were then held scoreless through the second period. Stanford added another goal to make it 4-1 at the half. USC scored three goals in the second half to Stanford's two–including a Monica Vavic goal with 34 seconds left in the game to bring USC within two goals. Each team had one two-goal scorer: Stanford's Melissa Seidemann and USC's Anni Espar.

Both teams will conclude their regular seasons this weekend–USC will meet crosstown rival UCLA on Friday, and Stanford will travel to Berkeley for their match against California the same day. Right now, USC is 20-1 overall (4-1 in MPSF play) and Stanford is 24-1 (4-0 MPSF).

No. 2 Stanford vs. No. 11 Loyola Marymount, April 14
Stanford continued its Southern California trip and made it a perfect 2-2 weekend with a 10-2 victory over the Loyola Marymount Lions. Stanford improved to 25-1 overall, and LMU is now 17-11. Annika Dries, Maggie Steffens and Seidemann scored in the first period before LMU got their first goal courtesy of Jessica Morelos. The Cardinal used a 4-0 second period to take command of the game. The Lions' Alexandra Honny scored the first goal of the second half, but LMU was held scoreless the remainder of the game. Kiley Neushul scored three goals for Stanford, with Dries, Seidemann and Steffens each scoring twice.

Loyola Marymount will finish its regular season with a road game against No. 6 UC Irvine Friday and returning to its home base in Westchester for Senior Day against Occidental Saturday.

No. 10 San Jose State vs. No. 3 Arizona State, April 13
The Spartans jumped out to a 5-3 first period lead over the Sun Devils, but were held to just three goals the remainder of the contest as Arizona State scored 2 in the second, four in the third and three in the fourth to give them a 11-8 victory. ASU is now 25-5 overall (4-2 MPSF), and San Jose State is 10-10 (0-5 MPSF).

Timi Molnar led all scorers with four for San Jose State, with Anna Natalizio adding a pair. Gao Ao, a 2012 water polo Olympian for China, was the Sun Devils' leading scorer with a hat trick; Alicia Brightwell, Shannon Haas and Petra Pardi put two each in the net for Arizona State.

The Sun Devils have closed out their regular season and are preparing for the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships April 26-28 in Berkeley, California; the Spartans will face Cal State Bakersfield Saturday in San Jose, California.

No. 11 Loyola Marymount vs. No. 4 UCLA, April 12
California Baptist vs. No. 4 UCLA, April 13
Pomona-Pitzer vs. No. 4 UCLA, April 13

The Bruins put together a trio of non-conference victories at the Spieker Aquatic Center on the UCLA campus. They now boast an overall record of 24-4.

They first hosted Loyola Marymount on Friday, taming the Lions 12-5. Emily Donohoe and Danielle Ferraro got things going for the Bruins with power-play goals to go ahead 2-0 after the first quarter. UCLA went up 6-3 at the half; the Lions could only score twice during the second half. Rachel Fattal led the Bruin scoring with five goals and Donohoe added two. Alexandra Honny scored a hat trick for Loyola Marymount. Even UCLA goalie Sami Hill got into the scoring act, putting a goal into the net when LMU's goalie, Claire Wright, was caught away from the cage. Hill was the first UCLA netminder in three years to score a goal.

The next day, the Bruins took on the Cal Baptist Lancers and, thanks in large part to Fattal's six goals (a season high), were victorious, 12-7. Cal Baptist led 5-2 after the first quarter, with Hannah Evans scoring a pure hat trick to lead the scoring. UCLA's defense kicked in and prevented Cal Baptist from scoring during the next two quarters. During that time frame, UCLA netted seven goals. Evans scored the final goal of the game for the Lancers, giving her a total of four.

UCLA completed its trifecta of wins with a 22-5 score over Pomona-Pitzer. Three players–Donohoe, India Forster and Ferraro–completed hat tricks, and 11 different Bruins scored goals against the Sagehens. The second period proved to be the key–UCLA scored eight goals while holding Pomona-Pitzer scoreless. Scoring two goals each for UCLA were Kodi Hill, Fattal, Charlotte Pratt, Alexa Tielmann and Alys Williams. Mahalia Prater-Fahey scored two goals for the Sagehens, with Brenda Iglesias, Alyssa Woodward and Sarah Westcott contributing one apiece.

UCLA will face crosstown rival USC April 19 to end their conference season.

No. 5 California vs. Cal State Bakersfield, April 13
The No. 5 California Bears traveled south to Bakersfield for a MPSF contest against Cal State Bakersfield and came out on top, 14-7. Cal's record went to 16-5 overall (2-3 MPSF), and the Roadrunners fell to 12-21 (0-5 MPSF).

California senior Emily Csikos scored the 213rd goal of her career with 4:33 left in the first quarter to become the Golden Bears' leading career scorer. She added a goal in the third period, bringing her total for this season to 47.

Ashley Young and Victoria Williams each scored three goals for the Bears, in addition to Csikos' record-breaking effort. Janelle Shelby, Jessica Browning and Taylor Hanson each put two goals in the net for the Roadrunners. Cal led 4-2 after the first period and was up 7-4 at the half.

Cal closes out its regular season Friday against second-ranked Stanford.

No. 13 UC Santa Barbara vs. No. 6 UC Irvine
UCSB and UC Irvine found themselves tied after the first period, 2-2. The Anteaters put up four goals in the second period to forge ahead 6-2 at halftime. They extended their lead over the Gauchos with five second-half goals, while UCSB managed three during that time frame to bring the final score to 11-5.

Kelsey Klatt scored career goals no. 100 and 101 for the Anteaters and was joined by Michaela Pierandozzi and Ambyr Stewart in netting two goals each. Other notable performances were turned in by UC Irvine's Hillary Estrada (one goal, two assists, two steals), Hannah Croghan (one goal, two assists, one steal, one field block) and McKenna Mitchell (one goal, one assist, two exclusions). Bryn Hudson scored a hat trick for the Gauchos.

The Anteaters will meet Big West foe Long Beach State tomorrow (April 18), and UC Santa Barbara faces No. 14 Cal State Northridge on Friday.

No. 14 Cal State Northridge vs. No. 7 Hawai'i
In their first season in the Big West Conference, seventh-ranked Hawai'i claimed at least a share of the conference championship with a 10-8 win over No. 14 Cal State Northridge. If UC Irvine loses to Long Beach State, the Rainbow Wahine will claim the title outright.

Hawai'i was led in its victory by a five-goal effort by Amarens Genee and four goals by Monika Eggens. Three of Eggens' goals came in the pivotal fourth quarter, helping Hawai'i overcome a one-goal deficit. Danielle Lewis contributed the other Rainbow Wahine goal. The Matadors were led by Lindsy Nelson's hat trick, plus two goals from Kelcie Ferreira.

Eight goals were scored in the first period alone, four by each team. They were again tied 6-6 at the half. The Matadors' Marisa Young scored the only goal of the third period, setting the scene for a thrilling fourth quarter. Genee took over, scoring the first of her three goals 28 seconds into the period, adding two within the next three minutes. Eggens added a fourth goal, creating an insurmountable 10-7 lead over Cal State Northridge.

Hawai'i has the week off to prepare for the Big West Tournament April 26-28. Cal State Northridge will meet UC Santa Barbara April 19.

No. 20 Pacific vs. No. 8 San Diego State, April 13
The eighth-ranked Aztecs blanked the 20th-ranked Tigers in the second half of their match to bring about an 8-6 victory last Saturday at the Aztec Aquaplex. Playing in the final match of their Big West season, San Diego State improved to 21-9 (5-2 Big West); Pacific fell to 16-12 (1-5 Big West).

San Diego State and Pacific traded goals in the first quarter, with the Tigers coming out on top, 3-2. Each team scored three goals in the second period, bringing the score at halftime to 6-5, Pacific. San Diego State scored three goals in the third period to come from behind and end the scoring in the contest. Amber Pezzolla scored three goals to lead the Aztecs, with five others scoring a single goal each. Taylor Adair and Gracie Smith put in two goals each to lead the Tiger scoring.

San Diego State ends its regular season with the Harper Cup match against UC San Diego. San Diego State has never lost custody of the Cup since the game began 11 years ago. Pacific will meet UC Davis the same day at the Aggies' pool.

No. 19 UC Davis vs. Cal State Monterey Bay, April 12
A six-goal first period for UC Davis, led by two-goal efforts from Carmen Eggert and Elsie Fullerton, gave them a boost toward a 13-5 victory over Cal State Monterey Bay at the Otter Tank in Seasde. The Aggies improve to 13-15 this season, while the Otters slipped to 8-20.

After UC Davis' six-goal first quarter, things settled down a bit and the Otters were able to narrow the lead by the third quarter to 8-3. A five-goal fourth period nailed down the victory for the Aggies. Eggert and Jessica Dunn both scored hat tricks for UC Davis, and Julie Cooper netted two for CSMB.

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