Late Charge Not Enough As Tigers Downed At Stanford
The Pacific men's water polo team mounted a strong comeback in the fourth quarter but host Stanford held on for a 12-9 win in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation action Friday, Nov. 16. The loss drops the Tigers to 12-9 on the year and 3-4 in league play. Stanford improved to 15-5 (5-3 MPSF) with the win.
Junior Kevin Oliveira paced the Tigers with a hat trick while freshman Aleksandar Petrovic and sophomore Alex Obert added a pair of scores apiece. Junior goalkeeper Alex Malkis finished with nine blocks.
Petrovic got the Tigers on the board early in the first quarter, scoring on Pacific's first possession. Stanford got its first goal of the game at the 6:48 mark, and both teams proceeded to tighten up their defense. Petrovic finally broke through with 3:33 on the clock, finishing from two meters, but Cardinal sophomore Alex Bowen quickly answered with a score on Stanford's next possession to tie the match at 2-2. Neither squad would score the rest of the way, keeping the game deadlocked at 2-2 after the first frame.
The hosts took their first lead of the game two minutes into the second quarter before going up by two, 4-2, with 4:28 on the clock. Obert got his first goal of the game on Pacific's next possession, putting away an advantage opportunity to pull the Tigers back to within one. After Petrovic was whistled for a five-meter penalty, Malkis came up with a huge save that Oliveira turned into a goal on the other end, tying the match at 4-4 with 1:51 on the clock. The momentum quickly swung back in Stanford's favor as the Cardinal notched two more goals to take a 6-4 lead into intermission.
Pacific wasted little time coming out of the locker room as freshman Casey Fleming finished a power-play chance to give the Tigers their fifth goal of the game. The hosts would go back up by two, 7-5, on an advantage goal at the 5:14 mark. The score would turn out to be the final goal of the frame as Stanford maintained its two-goal lead heading into the final frame.
The Cardinal earned its largest lead of the game on Bowen's third score early in the fourth before going up by four, 9-5, with 7:01 on the clock. Oliveira snapped Pacific's scoring drought with a goal at the 6:43 mark then added to his tally with another goal one minute later to bring the Tigers back to within two, 9-7, with 5:52 left. Junior Balazs Erdelyi would make it a one-goal game at the 4:37 mark, but Stanford freshman BJ Churnside snapped Pacific's run with his third goal of the game, putting the hosts back up by two, 10-8, midway through the fourth.
Obert would find the back of the cage with 3:38 on the clock, bringing the Tigers back to within one, but Churnside again tallied for Stanford as the hosts answered on their next possession. The Cardinal would seal the win with a goal at the 2:30 mark as Pacific was held scoreless the rest of the way.
Churnside led all scorers with four goals for Stanford while Bowen added three goals. Goalkeeper Hunter Platshon recorded seven saves.
Pacific wraps up its regular season this Sunday, Nov. 18, when it welcomes California to Kjeldsen Pool for an MPSF counter. The game is set to begin at noon. The Tigers will then travel to Los Angeles for the conference tournament next weekend. Their first-round opponent has yet to be determined.
No. 3 Stanford 12, No. 5 Pacific 9
Pacific 2 - 2 - 1 - 4 -- 9
Stanford 2 - 4 - 1 - 5 -- 12
Pacific - Oliveira 3, Petrovic 2, Obert 2, Erdelyi, Fleming
Stanford - Churnside 4, Bowen 3, Bonanni 2, LaForge, Noll, Watkins
Pacific - Malkis 9
Stanford - Platshon 7