Bakersfield, Calif.----- For the fourth time this season, Stanford University jumped out to a first-quarter lead en route to a 10-6 win over San Jose State University in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) women's water polo tournament quarterfinal round match.
The third-seeded Cardinal (20-4) used three power-play goals in the opening period to build a 4-1 lead.
"We started slow and gave up a few ejections that cost us (power play) goals, but we hung in there and didn't give up," said San Jose State head coach Johnny Bega.
Arguably, the power play was the difference in the match. Stanford was 4-for-7 and San Jose State (17-14) was 1-for-5. Cara Robinson's first-quarter power play goal for the Spartans put San Jose State on the scoreboard at 3-1 at the 1:14 mark.
Rae Lekness was San Jose State's top scorer in the match with a pair of second-half goals. Lekness moved to one away from matching former University of Southern California All-American Monica Vavic as the MPSF career scoring leader with 291 goals. The Spartan senior was hounded throughout the match, but still managed to get off 10 of the team's 26 shots.
"It was hard to get the ball to Rae in `set.' We moved her to the outside and tried to make different people guard her."
Trailing 6-1 heading into the second half, goals by Donia Momen and Lekness trimmed the deficit to 6-3. Lekness' second score at 6:56 of the fourth quarter left the Spartans behind by three again at 7-4. Stanford capitalized on a pair of Spartan turnovers with back-to-back goals by Madison Berggren and Gurpreet Sohi in a 58-second span for breathing room the rest of the way. Berggren, Sohi and Katie Dudley each scored twice for Stanford.
Carla Toha Vilanova and McKenna Yates scored San Jose State's fourth-quarter goals to complete the Spartans' scoring for the day.
Alicia Magliocco started in goal for San Jose State playing only the first-quarter. She was credited with three saves, one of them on a penalty shot taken directly at her. Tayler Peters played the last three quarters in goal and was credited with seven saves.
San Jose State takes on host CSU Bakersfield on Saturday, April 30, in an 11:00 a.m. match. The winner advances to the fifth-place contest on Sunday, May 1. The loser will be designated as the seventh-place finisher in the MPSF Tournament.
GoRunners.com will carry a live stream of the San Jose State-CSU Bakersfield match.
2016 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Women's Water Polo Tournament
Hillman Aquatic Complex, Bakersfield, Calif.
#6-seed San Jose State (17-14) 1-0-2-3=6
#3-seed Stanford (20-4) 4-2-1-3=10
Stanford -- Madison Berggren, Katie Dudley, Gurpreet Sohi, 2, each; Jordan Raney, Rachel Johnson, Jamie Neushul, Anna Yelizarova, 1, each.
Stanford -- Julia Hermann, 8
San Jose State - 8.
Stanford -- 5.