Uploaded: Monday, September 10, 2012, 4:20 PM
Stanford men host NorCal water polo tournament
|The top 12 men's water polo teams in the nation will be in action at Avery Aquatic Center this weekend as Stanford hosts the annual NorCal Invitational Saturday and Sunday.
Joining the Cardinal (No. 4 in the CWPA Varsity Top 20 poll) at this weekend's tournament are No. 1 USC, No. 2 UCLA, No. 3 California, No. 5 UC Santa Barbara, No. 6 UC Irvine, No. 7 Pacific, No. 8 Pepperdine, No. 9 Long Beach State, No. 10 Loyola Marymount, No. 11 UC San Diego (11), No. 12 UC Davis, No. 14 Santa Clara, No. 16 Air Force, No. 19 Concordia (19) and Pomona-Pitzer.
"Our team is eagerly looking forward to the challenges of the upcoming season," said Stanford head coach John Vargas.
In 2012 the Cardinal returns All-Americans Alex Bowen (53 goals in 2011) and Forrest Watkins (42 goals), in addition to senior leaders Paul Rudolph (25 goals) from Sacred Heart Prep and Travis Noll (16 goals).
Admission will be charged for this weekend's tournament at Avery Aquatic Center. The event is free for both Stanford students with a valid SUID and children six years of age and under. All seating will be general admission throughout the weekend.
Stanford opens tournament play Saturday against Santa Clara in the Avery Pool at 10:50 a.m. The Cardinal is matched up with the Broncos along with UC Santa Barbara and UC Davis in Bracket D.
The Cardinal hosts the NorCal Invitational every third year in a rotation that includes California and Pacific. Stanford last hosted the event in 2009, when it swept California and USC on the second day to capture the tournament crown.
Action from Brackets A and D will take place in the Avery Pool beginning at 8 a.m. while Brackets B and C games will be hosted in Belardi Pool.
Heading into this season, NCAA.com released it's "Players To Watch" list, which included Cardinal standouts Bowen and Watkins.
Bowen, last year's MPSF Newcomer of the Year and an ACWPC first-team All-American, led the Cardinal with 53 goals as a utility in 2011. Watkins, a redshirt junior two-meter, tied for second on the team in 2011 with 42 goals, earning nods to the ACWPC All-America Second Team as well as to the All-MPSF First Team.
Nearly every team entered has at least one local player on its roster.
Stanford features junior goalie Scott Platshon (Menlo School), senior Alex Avery (Menlo), redshirt freshman Robert Dunlevie (Sacred Heart Prep), senior Paul Rudolph (SHP) and freshman Adam Warmoth (Los Altos).
UCLA (8-0) has junior David Culpan (SHP), who scored two goals in a 20-3 win over Princeton on Sunday in the final game of the Princeton Invitational.
Princeton (3-2) has junior goalie Ben Dearborn (SHP), who had six saves against the Bruins. Freshman Alex Gow (Menlo-Atherton) is sharing time in the goal and started in a 13-7 win over Harvard, where he had six saves. The Tigers also have senior Tim Wenzlau (Palo Alto), who scored four goals against Harvard; junior Connor Still (SHP), junior Alex Rafter (Portola Valley) and sophomore Kevin Zhang (Gunn).
USC (4-0), the defending NorCal champion, features the brother duo of redshirt senior goalie Will Simon (Palo Alto) and freshman Peter Simon (St. Francis).
California (5-0), which won five matches at the Princeton Invitational (but did not face UCLA), has redshirt freshman Colin Mulcahy (Los Altos), redshirt freshman Thomas Agramonte (St. Francis), who scored seven goals in the five matches; freshman Mitchell Hamilton (Los Altos Hills/Bellarmine Prep) and junior Miguel Martin de Bustamante (St. Francis).
Pomona-Pitzer has sophomore Andrew Savage (SHP) and senior Mark Hudnall (Menlo); Loyola Marymount has redshirt sophomore Peter Olson (Los Altos Hills/St. Francis); UC Irvine includes redshirt freshman Graham McClelland (Menlo-Atherton); UC Davis has senior Kevin Meisel (SHP); UC Santa Barbara has freshman Mark Garner (Los Altos Hills/St. Francis) plus Evan Dellinger (St. Francis) and is coached by Stanford grad Wolf Wigo; and Long Beach State has freshman Patrick Goodenough (St. Francis).
2012 NORCAL INVITATIONAL
AT STANFORD'S AVERY AQUATIC CENTER
8 a.m. -- USC vs. Pomona-Pitzer
9:25 a.m. -- Pepperdine vs. Long Beach State
10:50 a.m. -- Stanford vs. Santa Clara
12:15 p.m. -- UCSB vs. UC Davis
2 p.m. -- USC/Pomona-Pitzer loser vs. Pepperdine-LBS loser
3:25 p.m., USC/Pomona-Pitzer winner vs. Pepperdine-LBS winner
4:50 p.m. -- Stanford-Santa Clara loser vs. UCSB-UC Davis loser
6:15 p.m. -- Stanford-Santa Clara winner vs. UCSB-UC Davis winner
8 a.m. -- UCLA vs. Concordia
9:25 a.m. -- Pacific vs. Loyola Marymount
10:50 a.m. -- Cal vs. Air Force
12:15 p.m. -- UC Irvine vs. UCSD
2 p.m. -- UCLA-Concordia loser vs. Pacific-LMU loser
3:25 p.m. -- UCLA-Concordia winner vs. Pacific-LMU winner
4:50 p.m. -- Cal-Air Force loser vs. UC Irvine-UCSD loser
6:15 p.m. -- Cal-Air Force winner vs. UC Irvine-UCSD winner
6:15 p.m. -- Championship
4:50 p.m. -- Third place
3:25 p.m. -- Fifth place
2 p.m. -- Seventh place
12:15 p.m. -- Semifinal
10:50 a.m. -- Semifinal
9:25 a.m. -- consolation game
8 a.m. -- consolation game
— Palo Alto Online Sports/Stanford Sports Information
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