Vargas' milestone men's water polo victory is a thriller


Goals by sophomores Blake Parrish and Mitchell Mendoza, and junior Cody Smith in the final 3:57 proved to be the difference in No. 5 Stanford's 10-9 victory over No. 6 Long Beach State Saturday at Avery Aquatic Center.

The win gave Director of Men's Water Polo John Vargas his 300th career coaching victory.

Vargas improved his career coaching mark to 300-91 in his 15th season as the head coach of the Cardinal.

Parrish led all scorers with three goals, while Smith, Mendoza and Sam Pfeil added two scores each for the Cardinal (10-2) in the victory.

In a tightly-contested affair that saw three ties, Stanford never trailed. After Long Beach State tied it up at 7-7 with 5:43 left, Stanford responded with three-straight scores and never looked back, en route to the win.

Parrish put the Cardinal ahead for good with a score with 3:57 to play. Just 42 seconds later, Mendoza put it in the back of the cage to give Stanford a two-goal lead. The Cardinal capped its scoring with 2:32 left as Smith rocketed it in to make it 10-7.

The 49ers had two quick scores over the final two minutes to get within one goal. LBSU had possession looking for the equalizer with under a minute to play, but Adam Warmoth snuffed out the 49ers' chance, causing the turnover as the Cardinal sealed the win.

Stanford junior Oliver Lewis made a number of acrobatic saves among his 15 stops in the match. With Long Beach State on the doorstep of the cage in the second quarter, Lewis made a big save to give Stanford the one-goal advantage at the half. He made another big stop with just over three minutes remaining in a one-score match.

Stanford returns to action on Sunday against San Jose State. Action is set to get underway at 1 p.m. at Avery Aquatic Center.

— Stanford Athletics

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