#5 Men's Water Polo Edged By #4 Stanford

Devon Thumwood
Devon Thumwood

STOCKTON, Calif. - Devon Thumwood scored three goals in front of a robust crowd of 824 at Chris Kjeldsen Pool, but No. 4 Stanford pulled way from the No. 5 Pacific men's water polo team Saturday night for a 12-7 win.

Tied 6-6 in the waning minutes of the third quarter, Stanford scored off a Tigers defensive miscue which resulted in a 6-1 finish over the final nine minutes for the Cardinal to snap the Tigers three-game win streak in the series. Pacific has won six of the last nine against Stanford dating back to 2013.

Luis Araya, Engin Ege Colak, Luke Pavillard and Ben Stevenson also scored for Pacific.

The Cardinal were led by hat tricks from Ben Hallock, Cody Smith and Connor Stapleton. Goalkeeper Drew Holland made 16 saves to give the Tigers just their third loss of the season.

Pacific goalie John Hedges recorded nine saves.

Thumwood opened the scoring off a long outlet from Hedges a minute in, but Stanford responded with a five-meter penalty shot goal from Hallock. Thumwood set up Araya for a 2-1 Pacific lead, before Sawyer Rhodes tied the game at 2-2. Thumwood's second came after a 6-on-5 power play had expired, beating the shot clock for a 3-2 lead after one quarter.

In the second, Hallock tied the game with a tap-in goal on the doorstep off a lob from Stapleton. Smith powered a shot from the wing off hands in front and into the side panel for a 4-3 Stanford lead with 3:46 to go before halftime.

After Hedges posted a save on a five-meter penalty with 3:06 to go, Colak answered with a quick-strike goal falling a Stanford offensive foul to tie the game. But Stanford quickly responded with a lob gaol from Blake Parrish. Stevenson rose and fired from four meters out and beat Holland to tie the game at 5-5 at halftime.

In the third, Stapleton capped a Stanford 6-on-5 with a power-play goal for a 6-5 lead, but Thumwood posted his third to tie the game at 6-6 with 2:21 left in the quarter. With just over a minute to go in third, Pacific got caught going for a steal and took an exclusion to prevent an odd-man rush. Stapleton's second goal came on the ensuing power play and shifted momentum to the Cardinal.

Stapleton opened the fourth with another goal for the first two-goal lead of the game at 8-6. Hallock tacked on a goal, while smith and Jackson Kimball stretching the lead to 11-6 with 1:51 left. Pavillard got on the board with a minute left, before the Tigers' press got caught, leaving Smith open in front for a one-on-one opportunity against Hedges to round out the scoring.

The Tigers finished 1-for-7 with the power play, and hit the goal frame six times in the game.

Pacific falls to 12-3 overall on the year, while Stanford improves to 8-3 overall.

The Tigers will be back in action next Friday, at home against No. 10 UC Irvine in a Golden Coast Conference contest. Gametime is set for 7 p.m. for Mini-Ball Giveaway night, with a pregame tailgate at Chris Kjeldsen Pool.