Cal Men's Water Polo Vies for Repeat NCAA Title
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  11/27/2007

Nov. 27, 2007

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Sat.-Sun., Dec. 1-2 at NCAA Championship, Avery Aquatics Center, Stanford, Calif. All Day

BEAR BITES: The No. 2-ranked California men's water polo team (26-4) will make the program's 25th appearance at the NCAA Championship this weekend when the Golden Bears travel to the Avery Aquatics Center on the Stanford campus. No. 2-seeded Cal, the defending 2006 national champions, opens up play Dec. 1 at 1:45 p.m. against No. 3-seed Navy (29-5). The other semifinal match-up features No. 1-seed USC (18-2) versus No. 4-seed Loyola Marymount (13-15) at 12 p.m. If the Bears make it to the championship match, it will be played at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2 and will be televised live on CSTV (Chris Dorst, analyst; Jason Knapp, play-by-play). Cal defeated the Navy Midshipmen earlier this season, 12-7, Sept. 1 at the Navy Open in Annapolis, Md. This weekend, the Bears will be looking to capture their NCAA-record 13th national crown and their first back-to-back national title since 1991-92. Cal earned an at-large berth into the 2007 NCAA Tournament as a result of going 26-4 on the year, leading the MPSF conference with a 7-1 mark, and placing third at last weekend's MPSF Tournament at Spieker Aquatics Complex. The Bears have only lost four matches this season, all by one goal, falling to USC, 9-8, in the finals of the NorCal Open Sept. 16, 10-9 in sudden-death overtime twice to Stanford (Oct. 14 in the semifinals of the SoCal Open, Nov. 16 in an MPSF match at Stanford), and 13-12 to UC Irvine last Saturday in the MPSF Tournament. Cal has been led offensively by senior Michael Sharf, a 6-3, 212-pound All-American from Orinda, Calif., who leads the Bears with 95 goals in 28 matches, is second in the MPSF with 3.4 goals per game, has led Cal in scoring in 22 of 30 matches and has twice be named MPSF Player of the Week (Nov. 12, Sept. 4). Sharf's 95 goals are tied with Chris Humbert's 95 goals in 1990 for the most single-season goals in school history. Other MPSF Player of the Week selections for the Bears this season were sophomore attacker Spencer Warden on Nov. 5, and senior attacker Vladislav Andreyev on Oct. 8. In the cage, Cal is led by senior All-American and 2006 NCAA Tournament MVP Mark Sheredy, who has 228 saves in 25 matches, including 29 saves during the MPSF Tournament. As a team, the Bears lead the MPSF with 12.57 goals per game.

SHARF AND MONSEES NAMED MPSF ALL-TOURNAMENT: Sharf and senior Zac Monsees were named to the 2007 MPSF Championship All-Tournament team after leading the Bears to a third-place finish, defeating Long Beach State, 11-7, falling to UC Irvine, 13-12, and defeating Stanford, 12-9, in the third-place match. Sharf led Cal with 10 goals in the three matches (three goals against Long Beach State, four goals versus UC Irvine and three goals against Stanford). He also finished with five assists, five steals and two ejections earned. Monsees scored four goals and had five assists, five steals and forced six ejections. Other top performers were junior Trent Calder, who scored six goals and had three steals, three ejections earned and two field blocks, and senior Jeff Tyrrell, who scored five goals and had seven assists, three steals, three ejections earned and a field block.

CAL VERSUS THE NCAA FIELD: The Bears have played two of the three opponents, Navy and USC, from this year's NCAA field. As noted above, Cal defeated the Midshipmen, 12-7, Sept. 1 in the second round of the Navy Open in Annapolis, Md. The Bears have battled No. 1-ranked USC twice this season. In the first match-up between the two powerhouses, USC tipped Cal, 9-8, when Gabor Surusi capitalized on a five-meter penalty shot with five seconds left during the Sept. 16 finals of the NorCal Open. The Bears were able to avenge the loss, defeating USC, 10-9, in a MPSF league match Nov. 10 in Berkeley behind Sharf's three goals, and two goals apiece from Monsees and sophomore center Thomas Pearson. Last season, Cal defeated USC in both the finals of the MPSF Tournament (6-5) and the NCAA Championship (7-6), after falling to the Trojans in the finals of the NorCal (10-7) and SoCal Opens (6-5), and during an MPSF match (10-9) in Los Angeles. If USC and Cal make it to the 2007 championship match, it would be fourth time the two schools have vied for the national crown. In 1983, the Bears defeated the Trojans, 10-7; and in 1987 Cal topped USC, 9-8 in overtime.

BEARS' NCAA TOURNAMENT TRADITION: The Bears will be making their 25th NCAA Water Polo Tournament appearance in program history and its first back-to-back appearance since 1990-92 when Cal won three-straight titles. Last season, the Bears defeated UC San Diego, 17-7, in the first round, before topping USC, 7-6, on Tyrrell's last second shot in the title match at Loyola Marymount's Burns Aquatics Center. Cal is 55-13 (.809) all-time at the NCAA Water Polo Championships, claiming its last title in 1992 (12-11 sudden-death overtime win versus Stanford), prior to last season. The Bears were national runners-up in 2002 and 1995. Since the beginning of the men's water polo championship in 1969, the Bears have garnered 12 national championships - more than any other school in the nation. Ticket and complete bracket information for the 2007 NCAA Tournament is available on NCAA Tournament Central.

THE BEARS' ALL-AMERICAN LOOK: The Bears feature five returning All-Americans from last season's national championship squad - seniors Sheredy, Sharf, Tyrrell and Adam Haley, and sophomore Warden. Cal also showcases seniors Monsees and Mike Hayes, who now have 94 and 55 career goals, respectively; and junior Frank Reynolds, a key contributor last season who notched a goal against USC in the NCAA title match. Sheredy was a first-team All-American and 2006 NCAA Tournament MVP, while Sharf, a 2006 honorable mention All-American, was Cal's top returning scorer with 48 goals last season (196 career goals). Tyrrell, a third-team All-American, knocked in the match-winning goal against USC in the national championship (41 goals in 2006, 108 career goals). Haley, a HM All-American, is a top two-meter defender; and Warden, a talented driver and defender, was an HM All-American and the 2006 MPSF and Daily Californian Newcomer of the Year.

HEAD COACH Kirk Everist: A 2004 inductee into the Cal Athletic Hall of Fame, Kirk Everist is in his sixth year, owning a 138-40 mark (.775) after leading the Bears to a 31-4 mark and the program's 12th NCAA crown in 2006. Cal also won the MPSF title last season and Everist was named Division I Coach of the Year. In 2002, he was selected MPSF Coach of the Year after guiding his alma mater to the league tournament title and the Bears' first NCAA appearance since 1995 in his inaugural year as head coach. A 1990 Cal graduate, Everist led the Bears to consecutive national championships in 1987 and 1988, earning All-American status three straight seasons (1986-88) and NCAA Player of the Year honors in 1988. He went on to play for the USA National Team for nine years (1988-96) and competed in the 1992 Barcelona and 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. Everist's staff includes associate head coach Boyd Lachance, who is in his sixth season, and Sean Nolan, a 2000 USA Olympian, who is in his third season. Nolan was a three-time All-American at Cal, helping the Bears to the 1991 and 1992 NCAA titles

EXTRA BEAR NOTES: Since its charter season in 1918, Cal has won an NCAA-record 12 national titles including twice winning three NCAA crowns in-a-row (1973-75, 1990-92). The Bears have had 11 different players earn National Player of the Year honors, including current head coach Kirk Everist in 1988. From 1990-92, Cal amassed a record of 86-2 for a .977 winning percentage. When Cal defeated UCLA, 8-7, Oct. 20 at the Rose Bowl Aquatic Center, it was first time the Bears had defeated the Bruins at the Rose Bowl since Oct. 25, 1997 (9-8 in overtime). Sharf scored the match-winning goal with 21 seconds left in the contest. On Oct. 14, Warden scored the match-winner against UCLA with 25 seconds left in an 8-7 win over the Bruins in the third-place match of the SoCal Open in Irvine. On Nov. 2, Hayes scored a goal with two seconds left in regulation against UC Irvine, sending the match into overtime where Haley scored the 11-10 match-winner with 1:15 left in the second, three-minute overtime period. In 2006, Cal had 10 players selected to the Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches All-America Team, which tied the 1974 squad for the most All-Americans in a single year. Former Cal standout John Mann, was featured in the August 6 issue of Sports Illustrated's Faces in the Crowd after winning the 2006 Peter J. Cutino Award as the nation's top collegiate water polo player. Mann is the first Bear to earn the prestigious award named after the former Cal coaching legend who won eight NCAA titles. Highlights of the Bears' 2006 NCAA championship victory can be viewed on by going to the Cal men's water polo page.

A LOOK AT LOYOLA MARYMOUNT: No. 11 Loyola Marymount (13-15) enters the NCAAs as the fourth seed. The Lions, who earned an automatic bid as the winners of the Western Water Polo Association, are coached by John Loughran (11th year) and are led by freshman Tibor Forai's 49 goals. LMU is making its fifth NCAA appearance, and own a 4-4 mark at the national tournament.

A LOOK AT NAVY: No. 9 Navy (29-5) enters the NCAAs as the third seed and earned an automatic bid by winning the Collegiate Water Polo Association. The Midshipmen are coached by Mike Schofield (23rd year) and are led by senior Aaron Recko's 73 goals. Navy will be making its 15th NCAA appearance and is on a 19-match winning streak. In Cal's 12-7 victory over the Midshipmen earlier this season, the Bears were led by Sharf's six goals, and three goals from Tyrrell.

A LOOK AT USC: USC takes an 18-2 overall record into the NCAA Tournament as the top seed, winning last weekend's MPSF Tournament with a 10-6 win over UC Irvine in the title match. The Trojans are coached by Jovan Vavic (13th year), and are led by sophomore Matt Sagehorn's 35 goals (1.75pg). The Trojans' two losses this season were, 9-5, at UCLA on Oct. 28, and, 10-9, at Cal on Nov. 10. Sharf led the Bears with three goals, and Monsees and Pearson added two goals apiece, in Cal's Nov. 10 victory over USC.


9 Vladislav Andreyev: Senior attacker has 31 goals in 25 matches, including goals against Long Beach State and UC Irvine during the MPSF Tournament...was named the Oct. 8 MPSF Co-Player of the Week, scoring 12 goals Oct. 5-6 versus Harvard, Air Force and UC Davis...has 21 assists, 21 steals, eight ejections earned and six field blocks... was a 2006 Community College All-American at Diablo Valley College.

Career Goals
2007	31

13 Trent Calder: Junior center and team captain has scored 31 goals in 27 matches and leads the squad with 18 field blocks...has 25 steals, 10 assists and 20 ejections earned...notched six goals during the MPSF Tournament, with three goals versus Long Beach State, two versus UC Irvine and a goal versus Stanford...has 61 career goals.

Career Goals
2005	7
2006	23
2007	31
Total	61

3 Scott Cruikshank: Sophomore utility man had 10 goals in 29 matches, including a team-high three goals versus Santa Clara Oct. 28...has also recorded 12 steals, eight assists, four field blocks and three ejections earned.

Career Goals
2006	5
2007	10
Total	15

5 Brian Dudley: Redshirt freshman utility man has scored 18 goals in 28 matches, including three goals during the MPSF Tournament (two versus Long Beach State, one versus Stanford)...has 23 steals, 17 ejections earned, six assists and two field blocks...hails from Johannesburg, South Africa.

Career Goals
2007	18

6 Adam Haley: Senior center back and team captain is second on the team with 42 steals and has 25 assists, eight ejections earned and eight field blocks...scored the match-winner with 1:15 left in the second overtime period versus UC Irvine Nov. 2...tallied four goals during the NorCal Open, including two goals in the final match versus USC.

Career Goals
2004	3
2005	1
2006	10
2007	14
Total	24

8 Mike Hayes: Senior attacker has 26 assists, 22 steals, six ejections earned and six field blocks...scored a goal with two seconds left in regulation in Cal's 11-10 overtime victory over UC Irvine Nov. 2, and had a goal last Sunday versus Stanford in the MPSF Tournament...has 11 goals in 29 matches this season, and owns 55 career goals.

Career Goals
2004	13
2005	13
2006	18
2007	11
Total	55

1 Jacob McIntosh: Redshirt freshman goalie has played in 13 matches, recording 44 saves in 147 minutes of action...has a 4.35 goal against average...also has six assists and four steals.

Career Saves
2007	44

16 Zac Monsees: Senior attacker is third on the team with 34 goals in 29 matches, including four goals in the MPSF Tournament (two versus UC Irvine, two versus Stanford)...notched four goals at Stanford Nov. 16...had seven goals during the NorCal Open, including a team-high four goals in the semifinal victory over No. 3 UCLA...leads the team with 49 assists and has 32 steals, 17 ejections earned and 11 field blocks...owns 94 career goals.

Career Goals
2004	10
2005	16
2006	34
2007	34
Total	94

15 Thomas Pearson: Sophomore center has 13 goals in 29 matches and leads the Bears with 38 ejections earned...had a team-high three goals Sept. 8 at Pacific...scored two goals against USC in a key MPSF match Nov. 10...redshirted in 2005 and sat out last season to recover from an injured right shoulder...also has 10 steals, six assists and five field blocks.

Career Goals
2007	13

10 Frank Reynolds: Junior attacker has 30 assists, 17 goals in 29 matches, 20 steals, 10 ejections earned and two field blocks...scored five goals at the SoCal Open...tallied goals against USC Nov. 10 at Spieker Aquatics Complex, and in the 2006 NCAA title match at Loyola Marymount.

Career Goals
2006	16
2007	17
Total	33

11 Mike Sample: Sophomore attacker has played in 29 of the team's 30 matches, recording 16 assists, nine field blocks, six ejections earned, five steals and five goals...has two goals against St. Francis Sept. 2 at the Navy Open.

Career Goals
2006	3
2007	5
Total	8

7 Michael Sharf: Senior attacker leads the Bears with 95 goals (tied for the most single-season goals in Cal history) in 28 matches and is second in the MPSF with 3.4 goals per game...was the Nov.12 MPSF Player of the Week with three goals Nov. 10 versus USC, and the Sept. 4 MPSF Co-Player of the Week with 18 goals in four matches at the Navy Open...scored 10 goals during the MPSF Tournament (three versus Long Beach State, four versus UC Irvine, three versus Stanford)...tallied six goals at the SoCal Open, including a four goals versus Stanford...scored the winning goal with 21 seconds left in Cal's 8-7 victory over UCLA Oct. 20...has led the Bears in scoring in 22 of 30 matches...has 35 steals, 31 assists, 28 ejections earned and six field blocks...owns 196 career goals, and has almost surpassed his prior career total (101) this season.

Career Goals
2004	22
2005	31
2006	48
2007	95
Total	196

1 Mark Sheredy: Senior goalie and team captain has 228 saves in 25 matches (9.12 saves per game)...had 29 saves during the MPSF Tournament, including a season-high13 saves against Long Beach State...had 10 saves Nov. 10 versus USC...recorded 12 blocks Sept. 8 at Pacific, and tallied 11 saves in the NorCal Open final against USC...has blocked four five-meter penalty shots, including a penalty shot against UCLA in the NorCal Open semifinal and against UC Irvine in the MPSF semifinal...had 40 saves in the four NorCal Open matches...has tallied 426 saves in 50 career matches (8.52 saves per match).

Career Saves
2006	198
2007	228
Total	426

14 Jeff Tyrrell: Senior utility man is second on the team with 47 goals in 29 matches (1.62 goals per game, 12th in the MPSF)...had five goals in the MPSF Tournament (a goal versus Long Beach State, two goals versus both UC Irvine and Stanford)...scored five goals with six assists and four steals versus Pacific Sept. 27...led Cal with four goals against Air Force Sept. 15, and scored six goals in the four NorCal Open matches...had a team-high four goals versus UCLA in the SoCal Open third-place match...has 40 assists, 28 steals, 19 ejections earned and seven field blocks...has recorded 108 career goals.

Career Goals
2004	9
2005	11
2006	41
2007	47
Total	108

12 Spencer Warden: Sophomore attacker was the Nov. 5 MPSF Co-Player of the Week with three goals, six assists and five steals versus UC Irvine and UC Santa Barbara...scored the winning goal versus UCLA with 25 seconds left in the SoCal Open third-place match Oct. 14...had six goals, five steals, three ejections earned and two field blocks at the SoCal Open...scored a goal in each of the three matches last weekend at the MPSF Tournament...leads the team with 45 steals and has scored 25 goals in only 22 matches...also has 22 assists, 12 ejections earned and eight field blocks.

Career Goals
2006	29
2007	25
Total	54

2 Zachary White: The freshman center is the only true freshman on the Bears' NCAA the only Cal player to compete in all 30 of the team's matches this season...has scored eight goals with 19 ejections earned, six steals, four field blocks and two assists...had a goal in the Bears' 8-7 win at UCLA Oct. 20.

Career Goals
2007	8