The U.S. women's water polo team continued its march to the Pan Am Games gold-medal match by sweeping Brazil aside with a 13-1 win on Wednesday in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Brenda Villa led all Stanford players with a pair of goals for the U.S., while Annika Dries, Melissa Seidemann and Maggie Steffens each added a score.
The U.S. took a 3-0 lead in the first period, then added a goal in the second to hold a 4-0 halftime edge. The American defense continued its solid effort, holding the Brazilians scoreless until the fourth frame, by which time the decision was no longer in doubt.
The U.S. advances to Friday's gold medal game, where it will take on Canada. The winner of the contest will also earn the region's automatic berth into the 2012 Olympics.
The USA men advanced to Saturday's gold-medal match and will play for the region's automatic berth into the 2012 Olympic Games in London after cruising by Cuba, 12-2, on Thursday.
Stanford grad Layne Beaubien led the U.S. with 26 minutes of game time Thursday, scoring a goal and making a steal on the day. Cardinal grad Peter Varellas continued his scoring pace, netting a goal and assisting on two others. former Stanford standout Peter Hudnut also saw action, taking three shots.
The U.S. took control early with four goals in the opening frame. Two more goals in the second made it 6-0 in favor of the U.S. at halftime and the team cruised from there.
The U.S. will now face Canada on Saturday with a spot in the 2012 Olympics on the line.
Stanford freshman Kristian Ipsen finished in sixth place in the individual portion of the three-meter springboard, finishing the six-dive A Final with 429.20 points.
The Cardinal freshman was within medal contention with two dives to go, steadily moved up to fifth following a score of 83.30 on a reverse one and a half somersault with three and a half twists. That dive resulted in 8.0's or better and put him just six points shy of medaling.
Ipsen then dropped to sixth following a reverse three and a half somersaults tuck to fall 20 points from third place. His final two dives resulted in 6.0's or better from all seven judges in his fifth attempt and 5.0's or better from five judges on his final attempt.
Stanford grad Cassidy Krug will compete in the three-meter on Friday and the three-meter synchro with partner Kassidy Cook on Saturday.
Perseverence paid off for Canada's Kristina Vaculik with a bronze medal on Wednesday in the womens all-around gymnastics final at the Pan Am Games.
Vaculik performed four solid routines to finish third with a score of 54.775.
Vaculik, who is taking a year off from Stanford to make an Olympic run, is expected to play a leading role in Canada's bid to qualify a full women's team for the 2012 Olympics. She singled out her performance on uneven bars as a personal highlight.
"Bars is one of the most difficult events in gymnastics and its been a daily struggle to keep on working at it," Vaculik, a two-time Canadian all-around champion, said to gymcan.org. "You have to work through it and believe in yourself."