Cal Falls to USC, 12-10 in OT, in NCAA Final
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  12/05/2010

Dec. 5, 2010

2010 NCAA MWP Championship All-Tournament Team

BERKELEY - In an outstanding collegiate water polo match under adverse conditions, the No. 2-ranked Cal men's water polo team was edged, 12-10 in overtime Sunday (Dec. 5) to No. 1-ranked USC in the championship match of the 2010 NCAA Men's Water Polo Championship at Cal's Spieker Aquatics Center. The Golden Bears, who lost to the Trojans for the first time in the national title match after winning four other times in school history, concluded the 2010 campaign 24-4.

It was the first time in school history Cal had hosted the NCAA Men's Water Polo Championship. The Bears have the nation's most successful men's water polo program with 13 NCAA titles.

But in a rain downpour, the Trojan's Peter Kurzeka and Matthew Burton scored the only two goals of the overtime period (two, three-minute periods) to lead USC to its third straight title and sixth NCAA men's water polo title overall. The Bears; who had defeated the Trojans in the 1983, 1987, 2006 and 2007 NCAA title matches; were led by senior center Zach White's four goals. Fellow senior Brian Dudley and junior Ivan Rackov added two goals apiece for Cal.

White and Dudley had played as freshman when the Bears defeated USC, 8-6, in the 2007 NCAA championship.

The Bears' sophomore goalie, Justin Parsons, finished with 10 saves, including a crucial save with 34 seconds left to help send the match into overtime.

"Overtime games are an inch here and an inch there, and they got the inches," Cal coach Kirk Everist said. "Obviously, we are very disappointed."

Rackov had given the Bears a 10-9 lead with 5:02 left in regulation on a counterattack goal, but with 3:58 in the final period Cal's Luka Saponjic was called for a foul that gave Kurzeka an opportunity to capitalize on a five-meter penalty shot to send the match into overtime.

From there, Kurzeka scored again on a 6-on-5 situation at 2:20 in overtime, and Burton put the match out of reach with another goal at 1:29 in the first three-minute overtime period. Neither team scored in the second three-minute overtime period.

Kurezka was named the MVP of the 2010 NCAA championship, while Rackov, White and Dudley were also named to the first-team. Cal junior Cory Nasoff was the named to the NCAA tournament second team.

In the third place match held earlier Sunday, Loyola Marymount (20-9) defeated St. Francis College (24-5), 9-7. On Saturday, USC had defeated St. Francis, 10-7, and Cal had upended Loyola Marymount, 7-6.

For more information on the NCAA tournament click on 2010 NCAA Men's Water Polo Championship page. Cal will also host the NCAA Men's Water Polo Championship in 2011.

4:18 1st Zach White Cal

:59 1st Peter Kurzeka USC

6:21 2nd Charlie Steffens Cal

2:39 2nd Peter Kurzeka USC

2:15 2nd Ivan Rackov Cal

1:40 2nd Nikola Vavic USC

7:30 3rd Mace Rapsey USC

6:40 3 rd Jeremy Davie USC

6:22 3rd Luka Saponjic Cal

5:07 3rd Zach White Cal

4:58 3rd Nikola Vavic USC

4:34 3rd Brian Dudley Cal

3:14 3rd Brian Dudley Cal

2:57 3rd Stephen Siri USC

2:25 3rd Tobias Preuss USC

7:38 4th Zach White Cal

7:16 4th Nikola Vavic USC

6:11 4th Zach White Cal

5:02 4th Ivan Rackov Cal

3:58 4th Peter Kurzeka USC

2:20 1st OT Peter Kurzeka USC

1:29 1st OT Matthew Burton USC

CALIFORNIA - 1-2-4-3-0-0--10

USC - 1-2-5-2-2-0--12

California Goal Scorers - Zach White 4, Ivan Rackov 2, Brian Dudley 2, Luka Saponjic, Charlie Steffens

USC Goal Scorers - Peter Kurzeka 4, Nikola Vavic 3, Mace Rapsey, Jeremy Davie, Stephen Siri, Tobias Pruess, Matthew Burton

Goalie Saves: Justin Parsons, California 10 (1,3,2,3,1, 0);

Joel Dennerley, USC 8 (1,4,1,1, 0, 1)