The showdown between the No. 1 Stanford Cardinal and No. 2 UCLA Bruins was to be a potential MPSF title preview and maybe even a NCAA championship preview, but the end results was a 8-1 blowout win by Stanford. The win for Stanford capped an undefeated regular season in conference play and clinched the No. 1 seed in the upcoming MPSF conference tournament. UCLA still earns the No. 2 seed in MPSF play, but their confidence can not be good if they meet up with Stanford in the MPSF finals, which also happens to be at their home pool.
Stanford came out strong in the first quarter by scoring three goals in the first three minutes of play with goals from freshman Ashley Grossman (6:47) and sophomore Kaley Dodson (6:04) and a power-play goal by freshman Kiley Neushul at the 5:14 mark of the first quarter. UCLA finally got on the board when K.K. Clark scored on a 6-on-5 opportunity with 49 seconds left in the first quarter to make it a 3-1 game. That goal by UCLA would be the only goal they would score all day.
The scoring slowed down in the second quarter as Stanford only notched one goal by Dodson under one minute into the second quarter. The defenses and goalies took over the rest of the way as no more goals would be scored, and Stanford would lead 4-1 at the half.
The third quarter is when things got out of hand with four goals by Stanford to put the game away. Stanford scored two goals in the first two minutes to go up 6-1 before scoring another pair of goals to win 8-1. The fourth quarter featured no scoring by either team.
Keys mentioned in the preview of this game were for UCLA to have a strong defensive effort and hold Stanford to under 10 goals and to be productive on 6-on-5 opportunities. UCLA's defense played well to keep Stanford to only their fifth game under 10 goals, but their 6-on-5 offense was horrendous as UCLA went only 1-of-11. The deficiencies on UCLA's man-advantage offense could hurt them in the MPSF tournament and likely the NCAA tournament (assuming they make it there)
As for Stanford they are peaking at the right time and if they are dominating the No. 2 in the country like they did on Saturday then they should be the heavy favorite to win the MPSF and NCAA tournament. They have so few flaws, and the only way teams can contend is to play strong defense and make the most of their offensive chances in particularly 6-on-5 opportunities.
Stanford Goals: Kelly Neushul 3, Kaley Dodson 2, Ashley Grossman, Cassie Churnside, Victoria Kennedy
Stanford Saves: Kate Baldoni 9, Emily Dorst 1
UCLA Goals: KK Clark
UCLA Saves: Caitlin Dement 9