April 19, 2013
BERKELEY - The No. 5 Cal women's water polo team played No. 1 Stanford even for the better part of three quarters before dropping a defensive-minded 8-4 decision on Friday night in the last match of the regular season at Spieker Aquatics Complex.
The match was tied at 4-4 until late in the third quarter when Stanford's Kiley Neushul scored her third goal to push the Cardinal in front. Stanford added another goal just before the end of the period and held the Bears off in the fourth.
Cal (16-6, 2-4 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation) took an early lead when sophomore Victoria Williams scored less than a minute into the game. Stanford (26-1, 6-0 MPSF) tied it at the 4:48 mark of the first quarter, but the Bears Ashley Young put the Bears in front once again with a goal just 41 seconds later.
Neushul scored to tie it at 2-2, but Cal established an advantage again when freshman Pippa Saunders scored off a rebound of a shot by Emily Csikos to make it 3-2 with 1:07 remaining in the first quarter. Stanford's Kaley Dodson tied it back up at 3-3 with a goal with 35 seconds left in the period.
Both teams locked down on defense for most of the second quarter. Neither team scored until 2012 Olympian Maggie Steffens scored on a 6-on-5 with 14 seconds left before halftime to give the Cardinal a 4-3 lead at the break.
But just over a minute into the third quarter, Cal sophomore Kelly McKee scored to tie it once again. It stayed that way until Neushul converted with 1:39 left in the period.
Sophomore goalie Savanna Smith made seven saves for the Bears.
The Bears finished the regular season in fifth place in the MPSF standings and will play fourth-seeded UCLA in the first round of the MPSF Championships on Friday at 2:30 p.m. The MPSF Championships are being hosted by Cal at Spieker Aquatics Complex and run through Sunday.
No. 1 Stanford 8, No. 5 Cal 4
Stanford 3 1 2 2 - 8
Cal 3 0 1 0 - 4
Stanford Goals: Kiley Neushul 3, Maggie Steffens 3, Kaley Dodson, Melissa Seidemann.
Cal Goals: Kelly McKee, Pippa Saunders, Victoria Williams, Ashley Young.
Stanford Saves: Kate Baldoni 7.
Cal Saves: Savanna Smith 7.