PALO ALTO, Calif. - The women's water polo team (18-8) looks to extend their season tomorrow as they get set for an NCAA Championships quarterfinal match against tournament hosts Stanford (20-2).
The No. 7 seeded Tigers prep for a battle on the road against the MPSF Conference runner-ups as their match is set for a 3:30 PM at Avery Aquatics Center. The winner will advance to the semifinal round Saturday and play the winner of either No. 3 UCLA and No. 6 Michigan.
Match Day Info:
-Pacific vs. Stanford | Friday, May 10th | 3:30 PM PST
-Location: Palo Alto, CA | Avery Aquatic Center | Stanford University
-Weather: 72 degrees. Mostly Sunny. Winds at 7 mph SW.
LAST TIME OUT:
- Pacific swept past SCIAC Conference champions Cal Lutheran in their NCAA play-in match on Tuesday by a final score of 16-4.
- Christmas continued her offensive spree for the Orange and Black tacking on a game-high five goals against the Regals and recording her 12 straight hat trick this season. The Calgary, Alberta native has now upped her total to 15 hat tricks on the year.
- Eight Tigers would tally a goal on Tuesday. Freshman Toula Falvey also tallied a hat trick in the contest scoring all three of her goals in the second half.
WIN, WIN, WIN, WIN:
- Currently riding a ten-game winning streak, Pacific has found their stride during the second half of the season taking 10 out of their last 12 regular season matches dating back to March 3rd.
- During this stretch nine out of their 10 matches have been decided by four or more goals including including five double-digit victories.
SEE THE BEST, BEAT THE BEST:
- Pacific has not shied away in the face of great competition this season. Of their 26 matches this year, 21 of them have been against opponents ranked in the CWPA top-25 poll.
- 11 of the Tigers' games this year have also been against opponents ranked in the CWPA national top-ten poll.
- Despite a 3-8 record against teams in the top-10, eight of those matches have been decided by at least four goals or fewer.
SPREAD THE WEALTH:
- The Tigers have showcased their ability to spread the wealth on offense as nine players have tallied at least 15 or more goals- seven of which have found the back end at least 20 times.
- Of their 314 goals this year, 177 of them have come off an assist.
- Reigning GCC Player of the Year Kyra Christmas currently leads the Tigers with 99 points, 69 goals and 30 assists. Senior Viktoria Szmodics stands right behind Christmas with 86 points on the year.
- Pacific has taken advantage of their chances on offense as seven players hold a .400 shooting percentage or above per at least 25 shot attempts. Graduate senior Brinnley Barthels leads the group shooting 23-37 (.622) from the field.
- Christmas surpassed former Tiger standout Cari Bertrand on Tuesday moving to fourth all-time in Pacific history in career goals with 209. Christmas would hit the 200 goal mark earlier this season following a win over LMU in the Golden Coast Conference title match.
- Mariana Duarte also hit a career accomplishment in UOP's match against the Regals scoring her 150th career goal with 4:29 to go in the first period. She becomes just the eighth player to achive this accomplishment.
- Viktoria Szmodics sits right behind Duarte with 149 career goals.
- Three Tigers hold shooting streaks heading into Friday's match: Truly Dorland, Mariana Duarte, and Kyra Christmas
- Christmas holds the longest streak of any active Tiger with a goal with 13 straight matches. The GCC Player of the Year has notched five goals in each of her last three contests.
- The Tigers' underclassmen continue to emerge in their roles for Orange and Black. As a group, the freshman four-some of Brianna Utas, Toula Falvey, Lucy Davis, and Ana Martinez do Amaral have combined for a total of 44 goals and 17 assists this year.
- Sophomore Savannah Fitzgerald has emerged as an X-factor for the Tigers this year accounting for 34 goals, fourth-best on the team, at the center position. The Clovis, Calif. native has also tallied 23 drawn exclusions and currently carries an even .500 shot percentage for her team.
- All-GCC Freshman keeper Clara Vulpisi has excelled at the goalie position in her first year with the Tigers.
- The goalie from Montreal, Canada has collected 182 saves in 26 starts for UOP leading all freshman goalies in the conference.
- During of her 26 appearances in the cage, Vulpisi recorded 18 matches with at least five saves holding a record of 13-5 when doing so.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENT:
- vs. Stanford (20-2)
- The Cardinal are in search of it's seventh NCAA title, their last one coming during the 2017 season.
- Stanford would finish second in this year's MPSF Tournament taking a 9-8 loss to eventual champion and No. 1 seed USC.
- Junior driver Mackenzie Fischer has carried the load on offense for the Cardinal as the MPSF Player of the Year's 78 goals this season are second-most in school history.
- The Tigers and Cardinal faced off earlier this season at UCI's Barbara Kalbus Invite where Stanford would take an eventual 14-3 win.
- Tickets to attend the 2019 NCAA Championships can be found here.