No. 5 Pacific Men's Water Polo Controls No. 3 Stanford For 14-12 Win
Seniors Goran Tomasevic, Kevin Oliveira and Balazs Erdelyi each scored three goals as No. 5 Pacific downed No. 3 Stanford, 14-12, in front of a packed house of 758 at Chris Kjeldsen Pool Sunday.
Erdelyi broke a 2-2 tie in the first quarter and after one of senior Alex Malkis' 14 saves, the Tigers held the lead for the final 28:39 of their MPSF opener. Junior Alex Obert and sophomore Aleksandar Petrovic each chipped in a pair of goals while Kristian Laczkovics added a goal for Pacific.
Pacific improves to 9-1 on the season and 1-0 in MPSF play, while dropping Stanford to 7-2 on the year, and 0-1 in conference. The Tigers sought revenge for their lone loss of the season, an 8-7 overtime decision to the Cardinal in the NorCal quarterfinals.
"This was a shootout today. It was an exciting game to watch and an exciting game to play," head coach James Graham said. "They have some offensive weapons and so do we. I thought we did a great job being in control at the end of the game, keeping our composure. And our goalie stepped up big. Overall, I'm really happy with our team effort today."
The Tigers posted a 6-2 first quarter, as Oliveira, Tomasevic and Erdely each tallied two goals. Stanford opened the scoring with a goal from Bret Bonanni, before Oliveira answered with a power play goal just 19 seconds later. Bonani tallied again for a 2-1 lead on a lob shot, but Erdelyi fed Tomasevic for the equalizer.
Erdelyi put Pacific in front with his first goal of the day, and Malkis then came up with a save while the Tigers were shorthanded following an exclusion.
"It's all about momentum. After that, I thought it was our game," Malkis said. "It's an amazing feeling. We've been talking about beating big teams. We knew we could do it."
Erdelyi scored on the other end for a 4-2 lead and the Tigers never looked back.