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November 19, 2004

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Palo Alto Online

Publication Date: Friday, November 19, 2004

Youth Water Polo Youth Water Polo (November 19, 2004)

Stanford club teams gain silver medals in Speedo Cup Stanford club teams gain silver medals in Speedo Cup (November 19, 2004)

First time in program's history that both 14-under squads finished second in the prestigious national tournament

by Rick Eymer

The Stanford Water Polo Club program continued its rise to national prominence with a strong showing at the Speedo Cup over the weekend at the Rec Plex Aquatic Facility in St. Peter's, Mo.

Both the Stanford girls' and boys' 14-and-under teams finished second in the prestigious event. Stanford had to first qualify in a zone tournament just to reach the 12-team event, which features teams from around the country.

For the girls, it was their highest finish ever. The boys matched their finish of a year ago.

The girls lost to Commerce, 9-5, in the finals. Commerce, which also beat Stanford in a preliminary game, 7-2, won its third straight title.

"This is the first time both teams medalled in the same year," Stanford girls' coach Craig Rosenberg said.

Even for the boys it was an improvement. Stanford lost to Tustin, 6-5, in this year's final. Stanford also lost to Tustin last year in the finals, 17-4.

"We've closed the gap," Stanford boys' coach Jon Barnea said. "Our club is one of the top clubs in the country."

Tustin has won four straight titles and has medalled in six straight competitions.

In the boys' final, Aaron Johnson gave Stanford a 5-4 lead early in the fourth quarter, rebounding from a 4-1 deficit. Tustin scored the final two goals, with the winning goal coming with 1:23 remaining.

Paul Randolph and Gerrard Clark each scored twice as Stanford defeated Carlsbad, 9-2, in the semifinals.

Tim Cole scored to spark six unanswered goals in Stanford's 10-6 win over Los Alamitos. Clark, who earned the Jody Campbell Award for team work, scored five goals in Stanford's 11-4 win over Greenwich in the first round.

Other team members who contributed to Stanford's finish are Scott Platshon, Timothy Wenzlau, William Roller, Miguel Martin de Bustamante, Connor Still, James Balassone, Mark Hudnall, Hunter Horsley, Matthew Goodenough, Alex Whittam and John Butler.

"This group of kids has had an incredible year of water polo," Barnea said. "They are a talented group, but they also worked for this. We got to the final by playing great team defense."

Balassone, Platshon, Bustamante and Rudolph all played with the National development team which traveled to Serbia, and six others were with the Pacific development team.

"These kids had a good amount of experience at a high level," Barnea said. "Most of them have Junior Olympic experience on a team that won the bronze last summer."

The girls survived three one-goal games to reach the championship, including a thrilling 5-4 victory over Mission Viejo in the semifinals. Mary Jayne Mordell scored the game-winner with 1:42 remaining to play. Mission Viejo led, 4-2, late in the third quarter but Stanford held them scoreless over the final 7:40.

Mordell also scored the game-winner on a counter attack with 16 seconds remaining to help Stanford edge Miami, 8-7. Yvonne Dunlevie scored four goals in the game, including the game-tying goal with 2:41 left.

Earlier in the tournament, Courtney Elward scored with 2:38 left to lift Stanford past American River, 3-2.

Stanford opened the tournament with an 11-0 victory over St. Louis as Elward, Hannah Breen, Katherine Booher and Emily Parsons each scored two goals.

Other team members are Ruth Milne, Elizabeth Carey, Daisy Anderson, Sara Markwith, Kristina Morris, Courtney Sandlin, Allegra Tringali, and Rebecca Dorst.

The tournament began in 1993, with former Stanford standouts Nick Ellis and Brenda Villa playing in the championship game.

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