The Stanford Cardinal won the 2018 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championship for the 6th time in the history!
The MPSF tournament was played at USC’s Uytengsu Aquatics Center. No 3 Stanford, which was the No 1. seed in the tournament, beat No. 4 and third-seeded California in the Championship Game (12:10). In the semifinals, the Cardinal defeated 2017 champion UCLA (9:7).
The Cardinal its first MPSF crown captured in 1994. After that, Stanford won the championship in 1998, 2001, 2004, 2014 and 2018.
The MPSF tournament was opened with the match for the No.5 seed. Penn State Behrend water polo players beat Austin College (8:6) and they faced No.4 UCLA in the quarterfinals, while Austin College played against California (No.3).
Favorites had no problems in the quarterfinals. UCLA trashed Penn State 18:1. California downed Austin College (23:1)
The real action started on the semifinal day.
Stanford had a fantastic start in the clash with UCLA. By the middle of the third period, the Cardinal built a 4-goal advantage (6:2). UCLA responded with three straight goals in a span of 1:34 minutes to reduce the gap (5:6). Stanford got back on the right track and jumped to an 8:5 lead early in the fourth quarter. A few minutes later the Cardinal was 9:6 up. UCLA wasn’t able to come back once more and Stanford recorded a 9:7 win.
California went through the Championship Game with a narrow 10:9 over the No.1 and second-seeded USC Trojans. The USC Trojans led for most of the time. In the 18th minute, period USC’s Jacop Mercep converted on a power play for 8:5. The hosts enjoyed a three-goal lead again in the 21st minute (9:6). But, in the remaining time, the spectators witnessed a one-sided contest. The Golden Bears scored four unanswered goals, while a winner came six seconds from time when Simsek found the net for the final score 10:9.
Penn State Behrend defeated newcomer Austin College in the game for the 5th place (8:6).
UCLA faced USC in the match for the third place. Everything was decided after the second quarter, as UCLA had a 5:2 lead at halftime. Both sides scored two goals apiece in the second half. UCLA beat USC 7:4 and the hosts ended the tournament with no win.
California opened the Championship Game very well. The Bears led 3:1 after 70 seconds of play in the second quarter. Stanford managed to equalize twice in this period, but California had a slim 6:5 lead at halftime. The third quarter saw eight goals as well as the second period. Stanford went in front for the first time 33 seconds from the last break when Abramson hit the back of the net for 10:9. Abramson scored three goals in the third period and he added one more in the fourth to give Stanford an 11:9 lead with 5:34 remaining on the clock. In the middle of this period, UCLA’s Johnny Hooper converted a penalty (10:11), but Seybold responded very son for 12:10: There were no goals until the end and Stanford could celebrate its 6th MPSF title.
MPSF Championship, Los Angeles (November 16-18)
For No. 5 seed
Penn State Behrend – Austin College 8:6 (1:3, 3:0, 1:1, 3:2)
California (No.3 seed) – Austin College (No. 6 seed) 27:3 (8:1, 7:0, 6:2, 6:0)
UCLA (No. 4 seed) – Penn State Behrend (No. 5 seed) 18:1 (7:0, 7:0, 3:0, 1:1)
Stanford 9:7 UCLA
(2:1, 3:0, 2:4, 2:2)
Stanford (No.1): Woodhead 3, Hallock 2, Abramson 1, Parrish 1, Stanchi 1, Williams 1 ( Lewis 5 saves).
UCLA (No. 4): Saveljic 3, Travisano 1, Molthen 1, Stiling 1, Cavano 1. (Wolf 12 saves)
California 10:9 USC
(4:3, 3:3, 2:2, 0:3)
California (No. 3): Tzavaras 2, Simsek 2, Delagrammatikas 2, Deeley, Masmanidis, Farrar,Hoover (Carelli 9 saves)
USC (No. 2): Daube 3, D’Sa 2, Vavic, Mercep (Porter 10 saves)
For 5th place
Penn State Behrend 13:10 Austin College
(3:2, 5:1, 4:2, 1:5)
Penn State Behrend (No.5): Hoff 3, Hatopp 3, Sardaryzadeh 2,Holmes, Menedez, Frerichs, Spence, Makin. (Lmlmski 5 saves, Santangelo ( 5 saves).
Austin College (No. 6): Koelzer 2, Rodriguez 2, B. Skinner 2, Pope 2, Griffin, S. Skinner (Pomier 10 saves).
For 3th place
UCLA 7:4 USC
(1:1, 5:1, 1:1, 1:1)
UCLA (No. 4): Travisano 2, Rone 2, Osborne, Molthen, Saveljic.
USC (No. 2):Daube 2, D’Sa, Mercep (Porter 9 saves)
Stanford 12:10 California
(1:2, 4:4, 5:3, 2:1)
Stanford (No. 1):Abramson 4, Williams 4, Seybold 2, Hallock, D. Woodhead. (Lewis 9 saves).
California (No. 3):Masmanidis 2, Hooper 2, Hoover 2, Deely, Farrar, Simsek, O’Brien- Schridde. (Carelli 7 saves).
NCAA announced bracket for the 2018 Championship
The NCAA Men’s Water Polo Committee announced the eight teams which will play at the 2018 National Collegiate Men’s Water Polo Championship, which will be hosted by Stanford (December 1st – 2nd)
The top two seeds (Stanford and USC) have been placed in the bracket. The remaining six teams will compete for the last two berths in the bracket via four opening-round games.
The opening-round games will be hosted by Long Beach State and Princeton (on November 24th) and by Stanford (November 29th)
Last year, UCLA defeated Southern California (7:5) in the championship game to win its 11th NCAA title.