October 18, 1998
Stanford, CA - The fifth-ranked California men's water polo team defeated Air Force, 11-5, before falling to fourth-ranked UC Irvine, 9-8, at West Valley College in first day action at the NorCal Tournament. It was the second time in two days that the Bears have been defeated by the Anteaters as Cal falls to 7-5 overall (2-3 in MPSF).
In their first match against Air Force, the Bears opened the game with four goals in the first quarter and never trailed the Falcons in the contest. Cal led 5-1 at halftime, after blanking Air Force in the second period. The Falcons scored four points in the second half, but it wasn't enough as eight different Cal players scored goals in the victory.
But the Bears did not fair as well against UC Irvine, losing another close game to the Anteaters. Cal got off to a slow start, falling behind 3-1 in the first quarter, but managed three goals in the second period to tie the game at 4-4 going into halftime. After a 2-2 third quarter, the game stood deadlocked going into the final period. But the Bears once again came away on the short end of a 9-8 score.
Sophomore Jerry Smith scored three goals in each game to lead Cal in both contests. The Bears also saw major offensive production from senior Brad Kittredge, who had a goal against Air Force and two against UC Irvine. Junior Albert Won matched Smith's second game output, scoring three goals against UC Irvine. Senior Ryan Flynn, who up until today had led the Bears in scoring for six straight games, was relatively quiet, scoring a goal in the first game against Air Force.
NorCal Tournament action continues Sunday morning as the Bears play USC at Stanford at 7:30 a.m. The previously undefeated Trojans dropped their first game of the season Saturday, losing to Pacific, 7-5. The Bears have yet to beat USC, losing to them in the Southern California Tournament on Sept. 20, 11-6, and again at USC on Oct. 10, 13-8. If Cal wins they will play the winner of the Long Beach State/Pepperdine game at 2:10 p.m. Sunday afternoon at Stanford; if they are defeated, they will play the loser of that game at 1 p.m.
Cal 3 2 4 2 -- 11 Air Force 1 0 1 3 -- 5
Cal- Smith 3, Hazor 2, Flynn, Dornin, Kittredge, Feaver, Metzger, Stoddard.
Air Force- Mattivi 2, Melvin, Breitenbach, Simendinger.
Saves: not available.
Cal 1 3 2 2 -- 8 UC Irvine 3 1 2 3 -- 9
Cal- Smith 3, Won 3, Kittredge 2.
UCI- Powers 3, Bailey 3, Brantley, Hayes, Klatt.
Saves: not available