Nov. 5, 2005
MALIBU, CALIF. - The No. 2-ranked California men's water polo team (17-4, 3-1), led by junior All-American John Mann's three goals and 11 saves from senior goalie Nate Bennett, defeated No. 5 Pepperdine (15-7, 1-3), 7-6, Saturday in an MPSF conference match at Raleigh Runnels Memorial Pool in Malibu. The Golden Bears' win avenged an 8-6 non-conference loss to the Waves last Saturday at Spieker Aquatics Complex.
Pepperdine's Doug Mann got the Waves within 7-6 with 70-seconds remaining, but the Bears' defense held Pepperdine at bay the remainder of the match. For the afternoon, Pepperdine converted on just three of 13, 6-on-5 situations, creating the difference in the game.
Cal gained the early advantage when Mann scored the first of three goals at the 5:05 mark of the opening frame. The Waves' Jesse Smith would even the match at 1-1 in the final minute of the opening period with a goal in transition. The Bears would score the only two goals of the second quarter as Mann and junior captian Brian Bacharach converted on 6-on-5 opportunities, giving Cal a 3-1 lead at the half.
Smith netted his second goal of the day for Pepperdine just 35 seconds into the second half, the first of three man-advantage goals for the Waves in the final 14-minutes of play. Cal would answer 11 seconds later, maintaining its two-goal lead. Adam Hewko pulled the Waves to within one at the 5:27 mark on a 6-on-5 opportunity.
Cal's lead would reach three at the 4:49 mark of the fourth period when Bacharach beat Pepperdine goalie Ben Tait to the near corner giving the Bears a 6-3 lead. The Waves' Matt Digges man-advantage goal at the 3:44 mark deflected off Bennett's hands and into the net. Trailing by three with 1:28 remaining, Pepperdine's Smith scored his final goal of the day as the Waves were able to get within 7-5.
Cal will next travel to No. 14-ranked UC Santa Barbara on Sunday, Nov. 6 at 12 p.m. at UCSB's Campus Pool.
Cal 1-2-2-2-7 Pep 1-0-2-3-6
Pep - Jesse Smith (3), Adam Hewko, Doug Mann, Matt Digges
Saves Cal - Nate Bennett 11 Pep - Ben Tait 10