Pacific Drops Defensive Battle To No. 3 Stanford
Stockton, Calif. – The No. 7 Pacific men's water polo team fell 8-6 to No. 3 Stanford Friday, October 21, in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation match at Kjeldsen Pool.
The Tigers now sit at 9-7 (0-2 MPSF) while Stanford improves to 10-3 (3-1 MPSF) with the win.
The match was a back-and-forth affair early as the visitors jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead after three minutes of play. Pacific was able to battle back as senior Tom Koning scored on a power play at the 3:07 mark, followed by sophomore Balazs Erdelyi's game-tying goal as time expired.
Pacific continued their scoring streak early in the second frame as junior Goran Tomasevic found the back of the cage to put the Tigers up 3-2. The Cardinal responded just 13 seconds later on a score from senior Jacob Smith. The Tigers would pull away, however, as Tomasevic scored a second goal at the 4:00 mark. After a Stanford exclusion, Erdelyi finished the six-on-five opportunity, putting Pacific up 5-3. A second Cardinal exclusion saw the Tigers take a timeout, but the hosts failed to convert, heading into intermission with a two-goal advantage.
Stanford began to assert itself in the third quarter, getting back-to-back scores to tie the match at 5-5 with 4:52 left. Senior Daniel Lungu momentarily stopped the Cardinal's run with a power-play goal, but the visitors would not be denied, notching two more goals down the stretch, the last one coming with just two seconds left in the quarter. The goal gave Stanford their first lead since the first frame.
The Cardinal closed out the victory with a six-on-five goal at the 5:09 mark of the fourth quarter as their defense held the Tigers scoreless down the stretch.
"We played hard today, but things just didn't go our way," Pacific head coach James Graham said. "We look forward to getting back in the pool next week."
Tomasevic and Erdelyi both notched a pair of scores to lead the Tigers. Erdelyi upped his scoring streak to 14 consecutive matches.
Sophomore goalkeeper Alex Malkis went the distance, recording 13 saves. He reached the 350 career saves mark in the first quarter and now has 362 career blocks.
Stanford was paced by freshman Alex Bowen who led all scorers with three goals. Senior goalkeeper Brian Pingree saved eight shots.
The Tigers are back in action next Saturday, October 29, as they welcome No. 8 UC Irvine to Kjeldsen Pool for an MPSF counter. The match is set for noon.