No. 18 Indiana women’s water polo welcomes No. 1 Stanford University to the Counsilman Billingsley Aquatic Center this Saturday.
The Hoosiers are coming off a 1-3 performance this past weekend at the Kalbus Invitational.
Indiana faces a talented team this weekend as Stanford holds a perfect 12-0 record. The Cardinals have won 11 of these matches against ranked teams, including No. 2 University of Southern California, then No. 4 University of California, Berkley and then No. 6 University of Michigan.
A leader and two-time NCAA champion for the Cardinals is redshirt senior center Aria Fischer. Against then No. 17 University of California, Davis and No. 11 Pacific University, she scored a combined six goals and four assists. That week, she was named the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Player of the Week for her performance at the Aggie Invite.
This past weekend, Stanford also participated in the Kalbus Invitational. The Cardinals won all four of their matchups, including a close game against then No. 2 University of Southern California. With four minutes and 55 seconds left remaining in the game, the Cardinals trailed 10-8 against the Trojans.
However, in the span of 50 seconds, redshirt junior driver Ryann Neushul and freshman driver Jenna Flynn both scored a goal for Stanford, tying the game 10-10.
The Trojans tried to win the game as the shot clock expired, but Stanford’s junior goalkeeper Maya Avital saved all eight of their goal attempts. Neushul and Flynn were the scoring leaders of the game, with five and four goals respectively.
Head coach Taylor McInerney said Indiana has spent the week practicing individual and team defense. She said she believes the only way Indiana can overcome the top team in the nation is by playing their best game Saturday.
“We are still in search of our best game, but hopefully we can give them all we got on Saturday,” McInerney said.
While hosting the No. 1 team in the country can be daunting, Indiana is more focused on their accolades than their competitors.
“We are going to prepare just as we have for every other game,” Crouch said. “It is just a different team and a different color cap. We cannot focus on their name.”
Indiana will face Stanford at 1 p.m Saturday in Counsilman Billingsley Aquatic Center.