Palo Alto Weekly

Sports - July 22, 2011

More honors for a busy Stanford junior

by Keith Peters

Stanford's Annika Dries is thousands of miles away in Shanghai, China, helping U.S. Women's National Team battle for honors at the 2011 FINA World Championships. One way or another, through a tweet, Facebook posting or e-mail, she'll get the word on her latest honor.

On Tuesday, the Cardinal junior was named National Player of the Year and head coach John Tanner was named National Coach of the Year by the Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches.

Dries also was named to the ACWPC All-America First Team, putting the finishing touches on an award-winning season. She was named the Peter J. Cutino Award winner in June, given annually to the nation's top men's and women's collegiate water polo players, and also was named the MPSF Player of the Year and to the conference's first team.

Tuesday's announcement also marked Dries' second career All-America nod, as she was named to the Third Team last year.

In addition, six Cardinal players earned All-America nods from the organization as did three local players.

Stanford two-meter standout Melissa Seidemann and senior goalie Amber Oland joined Dries on the First Team. Junior driver Alyssa Lo earned a Second-Team nod while senior Kim Krueger from Menlo School and freshman Kaley Dodson each were named Honorable Mention.

Sacred Heart Prep grad Adriana Vogt of San Jose State was named to the First Team while former SHP teammate KK Clark of UCLA was named to the Third Team. Megan Burmeister of UCLA, a Menlo School grad, received Honorable Mention notice.

The All-America announcement comes following a 2011 season during which Stanford went 28-1 overall en route to winning its second NCAA title with a 9-5 victory in the championship game over California.

It was the second national title the Cardinal has won under Tanner's watch, with the first coming in 2002. Tanner guided Stanford to a 7-0 mark in MPSF play in 2011 before his team swept three games at the National Collegiate Championship in Ann Arbor, Mich. for the NCAA trophy.

Under Tanner's watch the Cardinal outscored its opponents 359-139 in 2011, as six players scored at least 20 goals.

Dries led Stanford in scoring with 65 goals on the year, including five in the Cardinal's national title-game win over California.

On Thursday, Dries scored three goals and the United States women's national water polo team downed Kazakhstan, 14-4, to secure a spot in the quarterfinals of the FINA World Championships.

"After the first game you just don't know things are going to go," U.S. coach Adam Krikorian said. "We responded well after that first game (a 7-7 tie with the Netherlands). I don't know if it makes it any easier we're playing maybe the best team this summer; Russia. They won the Kirishi Cup, they lost only one game in the World League Super Final, a shootout in which they were leading the whole time. That is going to be extremely extremely difficult."

Russia placed second in its group, losing to Greece, 6-5. The Russians are heavy favorites to beat Cuba on Saturday and advance to meet the U.S. on Monday.

"We're going to work hard the next two days," Krikorian said. "We need to get better. We can't stop. I feel like we built a little momentum here and the training needs to be difficult to get them the most prepared against a physical and very fast Russia team."

Cardinal freshman Maggie Steffens scored twice for the Americans, who broke open a close game with nine unanswered goals. Stanford grad Brenda Villa also scored.

On Tuesday, it was Villa, Dries and Steffens each scoring a pair of goals for the U.S. in a 16-7 victory over Hungary.

Dries scored with 1:18 remaining in the second period, breaking a 4-4 tie and sparking a series of four consecutive goals to put the U.S. ahead to stay. The Americans were 16-of-31 from the field. Villa, the U.S. team captain, added a pair of assists.

Team USA opened play at the World Championships on Sunday with a 7-7 deadlock with The Netherlands, the defending Olympic gold medalist.

Brenda Villa scored one goal, as did Dries and Seidemann. Dries tied the match at 1 at the 2:25 mark of the first quarter. Seidemann gave the U.S. a 2-1 lead on a counter attack with 5:49 remaining in the second period.

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