No. 5 Pacific gets revenge for last season's loss, tops third-ranked Stanford
STOCKTON, Calif. -- Seniors Goran Tomasevic, Kevin Oliveira and Balazs Erdelyi each scored three goals as No. 5 Pacific downed No. 3 Stanford 14-12 in front of a packed house of 758 at Chris Kjeldsen Pool on Sunday.
Erdelyi broke a 2-2 tie in the first quarter and after one of senior Alex Malkis' 14 saves, the Tigers held the lead for the final 28:39 of their MPSF opener. Junior Alex Obert and sophomore Aleksandar Petrovic each chipped in a pair of goals while Kristian Laczkovics added a goal for Pacific.
Pacific improves to 9-1 on the season and 1-0 in MPSF play, while dropping Stanford to 7-2 on the year, and 0-1 in conference. The Tigers sought revenge for their lone loss of the season, an 8-7 overtime decision to the Cardinal in the NorCal quarterfinals.
The Tigers posted a 6-2 first quarter, as Oliveira, Tomasevic and Erdely each tallied two goals. Stanford opened the scoring with a goal from Bret Bonanni, before Oliveira answered with a power-play goal just 19 seconds later. Bonani tallied again for a 2-1 lead on a lob shot, but Erdelyi fed Tomasevic for the equalizer.
Erdelyi put Pacific in front with his first goal of the day, and Malkis then came up with a save while the Tigers were shorthanded following an exclusion.
Erdelyi scored on the other end for a 4-2 lead and the Tigers never looked back.
A pair of quick inside passes from Erdelyi to junior Sean Grady to Tomasevic led to a short distance shot into the open net for a 5-2 Tiger advantage, and Oliveira closed the half with a long goal just before the shot clock expired with three seconds left in the period.
In the second quarter, Tomasevic opened the scoring off a feed from Erdelyi, but Bonani posted a pair of goals to cut the margin to 7-4. Petrovic found the back of the net from distance to restore a four-goal lead, but Stanford's Forrest Watkins snuck a goal inside the right post with 1:07 left before half to cut the gap to a 8-5 Pacific lead.
Obert posted the Tigers' first two goals of the second half, and Pacific stretched the lead to 11-7 on Oliveira's goal off the keeper's hands. Stanford's Forrest Watkins struck again for two goals to close the quarter and bring the Cardinal within 12-10 at the end of the third quarter.
After Watkins' scored again from a sharp angle inside the near post, Petrovic ripped a shot from distance to restore a two-goal margin and Erdelyi converted a penalty shot underneath the cross bar.
The Tigers salted away the clock, leaving Stanford without time to make up the three-goal gap. Alex Bowen provided the final goal with six seconds left for the Cardinal.
The crowd of 758 was the largest for a Pacific men's water polo match.