Sports

Stanford men advance to NCAA water polo title match

 
Blake Parrish scored four goals in Stanford's win over UC San Diego. Photo by Hector Garcia-Molina/Stanford Athletics.

The Stanford men's water polo team has been building toward this moment ever since last year ended in disappointment.

"We have completed a lot of goals this season but we have one more goal," Stanford goalie Oliver Lewis said after the Cardinal beat UC San Diego, 16-7, in the NCAA semifinal round Saturday. "We're not done. We have a big one tomorrow."

Lewis, who recorded 15 saves against the Tritons, is referring, of course, to Sunday's 3 p.m. national title match at Avery Aquatic Center against USC, which beat UCLA, 8-7, in the other semifinal.

"It's been a process since day one and that's been since the end of last season," Stanford's Ben Hallock said. "A lot of guys have put in a lot of work and we've come so far."

The Cardinal (21-2) reached the title game for the first time since 2008 and will be looking for its first title since 2002, when a young Tony Azevedo led Stanford to the title.

Azevedo was on hand Saturday and saw Stanford play a near-flawless third period that put some distance between the Cardinal and UC San Diego.

The Tritons (20-6) have been a tremendous third-quarter team, outscoring opponents 79-35 in the period this season. Stanford held them scoreless to help turn a one-goal game into a healthy six-goal advantage early in the fourth period.

"Our identity is feeding off of our defense," Lewis said. "Stops on defense push us straight into our counterattack. When I make a block, I get fired up and try to push the team the other direction and score a goal."

Stanford and the Trojans have played twice this season, with the teams splitting the series. The Cardinal won, 13-11, on Oct. 6. The Trojans took a 10-9 victory eight days later.

"It is going to be a tough, emotional game," Cardinal Blake Parrish said. "For us, as seniors, to have here and to be in the championship game is special."

What is democracy worth to you?
Support local journalism.

Comments

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox.

After experiencing harassment, owner of Zareen's restaurants speaks out about Islamophobia, racism
By Elena Kadvany | 28 comments | 5,955 views

Don't Miss Your Exit (and other lessons from an EV drive)
By Sherry Listgarten | 12 comments | 2,082 views

Goodbye Food Waste!
By Laura Stec | 5 comments | 1,918 views

"Better" Dads and "Re-invigorated" Moms: Happier Couples
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,420 views

The kindness of strangers
By Cheryl Bac | 0 comments | 606 views

 

Register today!

‚ÄčOn Friday, October 11, join us at the Palo Alto Baylands for a 5K walk, 5K run, 10K run or half marathon! All proceeds benefit local nonprofits serving children and families.

Learn More