Neushul caps busy season with a gold medal | August 30, 2013 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

Sports - August 30, 2013

Neushul caps busy season with a gold medal

Cardinal water polo standout provides game-winning goal to lift U.S. junior women to title at World Championships

by Rick Eymer

Stanford junior Kiley Neushul completed a long and successful career with the U.S. Junior National Team in women's water polo by scoring three goals, including the game-clincher with less than three minutes to play, as Team USA topped Spain, 9-7, in the championship of the FINA Junior World Championship in Volos, Greece on Sunday.

Neushul, who served as team captain, played in her third FINA Junior World Championship and helped the Americans win gold for the first time since 2005. The U.S. also became the first three-time winner of the event, which has been held every other year beginning in 1995.

Neushul also played with the U.S. Senior National Team this summer.

Stanford junior Ashley Grossman scored the first goal of the contest at the 5:43 mark and the Americans never trailed, eventually taking a 5-1 lead late in the second period after Neushul scored twice within a 43-second span.

Spain, the defending champion, drew within 7-6 early in the fourth period before Neushul struck again to regain the momentum for the U.S.

UCLA's Rachal Fattal was named the tournament MVP and Ashleigh Johnson was named top goalie.

The U.S. won the gold medal in 2001 and 2005 and has earned a medal in seven of the 10 junior world championships held.

Field hockey

Stanford will open its season on Saturday against visiting Connecticut in a match that will be televised live on Pac-12 Networks at 11 a.m. The Cardinal will play its first four games at the Varsity Turf.

Stanford is coming off another impressive campaign (6-0 NorPac, 16-7 overall), reaching the NCAA Tournament and capturing the NorPac Championship for the fifth time in six years.

The Cardinal, which has been a fixture in the national rankings for all but one week over the past three years, navigated through a grueling nonconference schedule in which it played four games against the nation's No. 1-ranked team at the time.

Stanford opens with a No. 12 ranking in the Penn Monto/NFHCA Preseason poll. This marks the fourth straight year Stanford has earned a preseason national ranking, as the Cardinal was pegged at No. 11 last season after checking in at No. 20 during the previous two seasons.

Women's soccer

Stanford junior goalkeeper Emily Oliver was named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week following her performances in the Cardinal's season-opening victories at Boston College and Connecticut last weekend.

Oliver made nine saves while facing 17 shots in a 2-1 double-overtime victory over B.C. on Friday. Many of her saves were simply spectacular, and preserved the tie score, allowing the Cardinal to remain in position to win. Alex Doll's goal in the 108th minute was the winner.

Against UConn, Oliver also faced 17 shots, while earning her 27th career shutout.

Oliver has a 0.45 goals-against average after two matches and is a returning All-America and a three-time NCAA College Cup all-tournament selection.

Oliver and the Cardinal play their home opener Saturday against Portland at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium at 7 p.m.

In the win over UConn, junior transfer Taylor Uhl scored her first Stanford goal while Siobhan Cox recorded the assist, sending a well-placed corner kick into the box from where Uhl was able to head it past the Huskies' goalkeeper.

In the win over Boston College, junior Alex Doll scored with less than three minutes remaining in the second overtime to the Cardinal. Sophomore Chioma Ubogagu's shot seconds before was blocked by Eagles' goalkeeper Jessica Mickelson, but not controlled. Doll was right there to slam it home for the sudden death game-winner.

Boston College took a 1-0 lead at the 6:12 mark of the first half before Stanford evened things on a goal from senior Sydney Payne, with an assist from Ubogagu.

Track and field

Incoming Stanford freshman Megan Glasmann from Park City, Utah, won the women's javelin at the 17th annual Pan American Championships, setting a meet record in the competition that features the best 19-and-under athletes in the Western Hemisphere. The championships wrapped up Sunday in Medellin, Colombia.

For her effort, Glasmann was named USA Track and Field's athlete of the week.

On her last attempt, Glasmann threw 176-11, a personal record by 10 feet, the top throw by a U.S. junior or high school athlete this year and the No. 2 mark in U.S. junior history that also made her No. 2 all-time on the prep list. Glasmann, whose mother is former Texas All-America Niki Nye, entered the meet with a best of 166-7.

"I knew I had won on the fifth attempt, I was ahead by that time, so I didn't necessarily have to take my last throw of the meet because I had already won," Glasmann said. "One of the other coaches asked my parents why I was still throwing, but I really wanted to see if I had anything left in me, and It turned out that I did have quite a bit."

Glasmann qualified by winning the U.S. junior championship in July and was among five current or incoming Stanford athletes to compete in the biennial meet.

Other highlights among Stanford competitors were Claudia Saunders, a rising sophomore, who was sixth in the women's 800 in 2:12.17, and Justin Brinkley, who was ninth in the men's 1,500 in 4:00.42.

Incoming freshman Dylan Duvio finished second in the men's pole vault with a clearance of 17-0 3/4 and incoming freshman Scott Buttinger of Canada was sixth in the men's 800 final in 1:52.23.