Sports

Senior Day a success for Stanford women's water polo

 

Stanford All-Americans Ashley Grossman, Kiley Neushul and Maggie Steffens each scored four times and freshman Jordan Raney added her first career hat trick to propel the No. 2 Cardinal womens water polo team to a 20-5 victory over CSU Bakersfield at Avery Aquatic Center on Sunday afternoon.

The win moved Stanford's record to 20-1 overall and a perfect 5-0 in MPSF play. Not only was it the Cardinal's 38th straight regular-season conference victory and its 26th straight win at home, but it was also the 100th in the careers of Stanford's decorated senior class.

Grossman, Neushul and goalkeeper Emily Dorst were honored in a pregame ceremony. The trio has led Stanford to a 100-7 overall record in their four years on The Farm, including a pair of national championships.

The Cardinal's final regular-season home game was never in doubt. Stanford burst out of the gates so score 10 goals in the game's first eight minutes, its most potent offensive quarter of the season. Grossman and Steffens netted their hat tricks in the opening frame and were joined with scores from Dani Jackovich, Raney, Neushul and Anna Yelizarova.

Steffens opened the action with a feed in front from Gurpreet Sohi at 7:39. Grossman then reeled off three in a row, scoring at 6:57, with a turnaround off an assist from Neushul at 5:27 and on a breakaway at 4:15. Shannon Cleary set up Steffens for another at 3:42 before Jackovich and Yelizarova converted a pair of 6-on-5 opportunities following back-to-back exclusions from Bakersfield's Nicola Barrett.

Steffens completed her hat trick with a back-handed attempt on a pass from Sophia Monaghan (0:54) and Raney notched her first thanks to a Neushul assist with 15 seconds to go. Neushul put home her first as the buzzer sounded, launching a skip shot nearly the length of the pool that found its way past Brittany Tyra and into the back of the cage.

Stanford's 10-2 lead after one grew to 15-2 at the half. Yelizarova scored one second after a Bakersfield exclusion expired (7:30) and Kiley Neushul converted another skip – this one from a more manageable distance – off an assist from younger sister Jamie (5:40). Grossman dumped it off for Neushul on the break at 4:58, Jackovich went top shelf at 4:07 and Shannon Cleary and Jordan Raney worked the two-woman game with 1:31 on the clock before Raney fired it home.

In the third, a Bridgette Souza exclusion led to Steffens score (2:55) and a penalty on Janelle Shelby was successfully converted by Raney (2:19).

Katie Dudley, Kiley Neushul and Ashley Grossman scored in the fourth to help Stanford reach the 20-goal plateau for the fifth time this season. Neushul's four goals tied a season high and she's now reached 50 for the fourth consecutive year.

Stanford, winners of nine straight, is averaging 14.52 goals per game this season while only allowing 4.67. The Cardinal is on pace to set the program's scoring record (13.31 GPG – 2014) and to post its best defensive effort since 2007 (4.41 GAA).

Stanford closes out its regular season on Thursday at California (17-5, 3-2 MPSF) in a match televised on the Pac-12 Networks at 5 p.m.

— Stanford Athletics

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