#8-Spartans Stopped By #1-Stanford In MPSF Opener

San Jose, Calif.-----Senior Dani Curran converted two penalty shots for San Jose State University, but four goals by Kiley Neushul powered Stanford University to a 13-5 win in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) women's water polo opener for both teams.

            The #1-ranked Cardinal (7-0, 1-0 MPSF) remained unbeaten and used a 7-0 run over more than two quarters of play to break a 3-3 early second-quarter tie.

            "I was extremely happy with the players' effort. They played well in the beginning. We were okay. We were in the game," said San Jose State head coach Lou Tully. "We didn't allow Stanford to run rampant over us. We made them earn their goals."

            #8-San Jose State (6-4, 0-1 MPSF) had tied the score at 3-3 on an Anna Natalizio shot on its first second-quarter possession. The Spartans would not score again until Rachel Henry's power play goal with 3:32 left in the match.

            "At halftime, it was 5-3, and we were still in the game. I never had the feeling we were getting tossed. Last week, we were tossed by halftime," he said about Stanford's 11-6 win over the Spartans six days earlier. "In that regard, that's why I felt good about the way we played. They (Stanford) kept pecking away and we couldn't match them with goals."

            Stanford's Ashley Grossman broke the 3-3 tie with scores at 5:09 and 3:48 to send Stanford into halftime with the lead. Grossman and Jillian Garton each finished with three goals.

            San Jose State goalkeeper Meagan Minson had a busy day facing 36 shots and making 10 saves. Stanford goalkeeper Kate Baldoni made eight saves.

            Besides Curran, Henry and Natalizio, Katie Buzzetta scored for the Spartans.

            "We wanted to shut down their counter-attacks and that was something we were able to do in the first half. We let up a little in the third (quarter) and they kind of got their momentum. For the most part, we did what we wanted to do," said Buzzetta.

            "Our shots weren't going in. We had a lot of opportunities, but Stanford has an amazing goalie. You have to get up on her (Baldoni), but we were a little behind," the Spartans' co-captain added about a scoreless third quarter. "We were playing too slow in the first half."

            "Our decision making was really slow in the first half and we weren't able to put the kind of pressure on that we had hoped to.  In the third quarter, we moved the ball more quickly and made decisions right away," said Stanford coach John Tanner about his team's offense coming alive.

            San Jose State returns to action next Saturday taking on #4-ranked California in a MPSF match.

San Jose State University women's water polo
The Aquatics Center, San Jose, Calif.
February 11, 2012

Stanford (7-0, 1-0 MPSF) 3 2 3 5 13
San Jose State (6-4, 0-1 MPSF) 2 1 0 2 5
 

Goal scoring

Stanford - Kiley Neushul, 4; Jillian Garton, 3; Ashley Grossman, 3; Alyssa Lo, 1; Kaitlyn Lo, 1; Cassie Churnside, 1.

San Jose State - Dani Curran, 2; Rachel Henry, 1; Katie Buzzetta, 1; Anna Natalizio, 1.

Goalkeeper saves

Stanford - Kate Baldoni, 8.

San Jose State - Meagan Minson, 10

Ejections

Stanford - 6.

San Jose State - 5.