Cardinal men split a pair of tournament water polo matches


The fifth-ranked Stanford men's water polo will play Long Beach State in the fifth-place match of the Mountain Pacific Invitational on Sunday at 11:45 a.m. at Spieker Aquatics Complex, after splitting its two matches on Saturday in the 16-team tournament.

The Cardinal (7-2) rebounded from a 9-8 setback to No. 4 Pacific in the morning, earning an 11-9 victory over No. 10 Pepperdine in the afternoon during its tournament matches on Saturday in the three-day tournament.

Justin Roberto
Goals by juniors Cody Smith and Justin Roberto in the final four minutes of the match proved to be the difference in Stanford's 11-9 triumph over the Waves. Roberto's goal with 3:37 to play broke a 9-9 tie and put the Cardinal ahead for good. Smith added an insurance score with 1:29 remaining to give Stanford the two-goal victory.

The Cardinal stormed back from a 5-1 first-quarter deficit with consecutive goals from senior Kyle Weikert, sophomore Blake Parrish, Roberto and Smith to tie it up midway through the second period.

Pepperdine took the lead on two more occasions, but Weikert's second goal of the match tied it at 9-9 with 7:10 to play. Roberto and Smith put the Cardinal ahead for good from there.

Smith scored five goals in the victory over Pepperdine.

Junior Oliver Lewis played the entire match in goal for the Cardinal against the Waves.

In the morning, Stanford erased a pair of multiple-goal deficits and nearly erased a third in the 9-8 setback to Pacific. Down, 4-2, in the second quarter, sophomore Mitchell Mendoza scored a pair of goals in the final four minutes of the half to tie it up at the break. The Tigers used three scores in the first two minutes of the third quarter to regain their advantage, 7-4.

Junior Sam Pfeil led the Cardinal back again with three goals in a span of 3:03 to tie it back up at 7-7 near the end of the third quarter. Pacific responded with a pair of scores to surge back ahead, 9-7, with 5:33 to play.

A fourth-quarter goal by Parrish got the Cardinal within one score, but Stanford ran out of time and Pacific escaped with the 9-8 win.

Lewis played also played the entire match in goal for the Cardinal against the Tigers.

— Stanford Athletics

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