March 19, 2008
This Week in Cal Water Polo
The No. 5 California women's water polo team (11-6 overall, 4-3 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation) will host No. 14 Cal State Northridge (7-10, 0-4 in the MPSF) on March 22 at Spieker Aquatics Complex with the first sprint slated for 12 p.m. The Golden Bears hold a 6-0 all-time series lead over the Matadors. Cal sits in sixth place in the competitive MPSF and looks to bounce back from a second consecutive 8-7 conference loss.
Last Week in Cal Water Polo
Despite a game-high four goals from senior Molly Hayes, the No. 4 Bears could not overcome an early deficit on the road, and they dropped the 8-7 conference decision to No. 8 Arizona State on March 15. Sophomore defender Grace Reynolds and Hayes tied the score at 2-2 at the end of the first quarter and the Bears opened the second stanza with a goal from Hayes to take a 3-2 lead. The Golden Bears came within two, 7-5, in the fourth quarter, but McGrath's third goal of the game extended ASU's lead to three with just over three minutes remaining in regulation. The Bears scored twice thanks to goals from sophomore Meghan Corso and Hayes in the final two minutes, but it was not enough.
Scouting Cal State Northridge
CSUN sit in 11th in the MPSF, and prior to this weekend has yet to win a conference game despite coming within two against Long Beach. The Matadors are 4-1 in their last five games with four nonconference wins including an 11-10 sudden victory win over Indiana. Senior Allison Brookes, CSUN's top scorer, is 30th in the MPSF with 27 goals while sophomore goalie Jillian Stapf is 10th with 118 saves (7.38 saves/game). Northridge plays at Pacific on Friday before traveling to Berkeley.
Team Games Goals G/G GA GAA California 17 155 9.12 110 6.47 CSUN 18 135 7.50 150 8.33
Hayes Gives ASU a Handful
Molly Hayes tallied a team-high four goals in the heartbreaking 8-7 loss to No. 8 Arizona State on Saturday. Hayes added a last-minute goal in the fourth quarter but it was not enough to turn the tide and the Sun Devils came away with the upset. The senior defender now has 26 goals on the season, good for second on the team and 23rd in the MPSF.
The Golden Bears in the MPSF
The Bears currently are in sixth place in the MPSF at 4-3. Cal won its first two conference games - UOP and San Jose State - this season for the first time since 2000, when the Bears went on a 7-0 MPSF winning streak at the beginning of conference play. Grace Reynolds is 12th in the MPSF with 31 goals (1.82 goals/game). Senior Heather Stuart's work between the posts - 10.00 saves/game - places her second among conference goalies. While the Bears are in the middle of the pack at 9.12 goals/game (sixth), California's stellar defense is fourth in the MPSF, allowing just 6.47 goals per game.
Cal in the World of U.S. Water Polo
With its wins over then-ranked No. 4 Hawaii on Feb. 23 and No. 3 USC on Feb. 24, California won its first games of the 2008 campaign over higher ranked teams. The Bears' successful weekend garnered national attention and Cal moved from No. 5 in the national poll to No. 3, which is the highest national ranking for the Bears since February 2001, when they were third in the nation. Sophomore two-meter Grace Reynolds is 39th in the nation with 31 goals thus far in the season and senior keeper Heather Stuart's 160 saves are 12th in the national statistics. Additionally, the Bears rank fourth in the nation in defense, allowing just 6.5 goals/game.
California Off to Best Start in Years
The Golden Bears began the season 4-0, which tied the 1998 and 1999 squads for the second-best start in program history. With its current 11-6 overall record, this year's team has the best start since the 2005 campaign. Additionally, the 155 goals that Cal has scored in its first 16 games are the highest for a Golden Bear team since 2002.
Cal Tabbed for Third-Place Finish
California was tabbed to tie for third place in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, according to a preseason coaches' poll released Jan. 18. The Golden Bears, tied with Stanford with 107 points, earned one first-place vote. UCLA, which has won three straight national championships and returns three scoring leaders from last season's squad, took first place in the poll with 132 points and 11 first-place votes.
Bears Ink Four Recruits
Four high school recruits have signed national letters of intent to play for California. Emily Csikos, a member of the Canadian junior national team from 2004-06, is a current senior national team member. Lindsay Dorst, the only United States native to sign a NLI with Cal, is an All-American goalkeeper and member of the USA youth team. Athina Vazeos only began playing water polo five years ago but has quickly transformed into an elite athlete at the national level in Canada and has helped her club team to multiple national championships. Libby McLaren amassed a multitude of awards and championships while playing for Australian club teams and is a standout on the Miramonte High School team.
Bears Record When...
Game decided by 5 goals or less: 6-3
Leading at halftime: 10-0
Trailing at halftime: 1-5
Tied at halftime: 0-1
Went into overtime: 2-0
Leading by 5 or more at halftime: 3-0
Holding opponent under 10 goals: 10-6
Scoring 1-8 goals: 2-6
Scoring 9-15 goals: 8-0
Scoring 16-25 goals: 1-0
Playing a higher-ranked opponent: 2-4
Playing a lower-ranked opponent: 7-2
Playing an unranked opponent: 2-0