Four Golden Bears Earn All-America Accolades
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  01/05/2006

Jan. 5, 2006

BERKELEY, CALIF. - Junior John Mann has been named a 2005 first-team All-American by The American Water Polo Coaches Association, while senior goalie Nate Bennett and sophomore attacker Michael Sharf were selected third-team All-Americans, and junior center defender Marty Matthies earned honorable mention All-America accolades.

Mann, who was also a first-team All-American last season, led the No. 3-ranked Golden Bears (21-7) in scoring this season with 56 goals, notching goals in 23 of the 26 matches in which he appeared. He was fifth in the MPSF with 2.15 goals per game and was named to the 2005 MPSF Championship All-Tournament team after scoring five goals in the three tournament matches. He was also the Oct. 4 MPSF Player of the Week after leading Cal to three victories and scoring four goals in the Bears' 9-5 victory over Stanford. Mann now has 138 career goals after recording 60 goals last season as a sophomore and 22 goals as a freshman.

Bennett had an outstanding 2005 campaign as well, recording 211 saves in 28 matches with 26 saves during the MPSF Tournament. He was the Oct. 25 MPSF Player of the Week after recording a career-high 20 saves in Cal's 9-2 conference victory over UC Irvine. Bennett, who earlier named third-team All-MPSF, finished his college career with 522 saves.

Second in scoring for the Bears as a sophomore, Sharf tallied 31 goals in 27 matches. He netted three goals in a match on four occasions this season, including Cal's narrow losses to top-ranked USC on Oct. 16 and Nov. 12. Sharf has now scored 53 goals in two seasons, including 22 goals as a freshman.

Junior center defender Matthies, considered Cal's best all-round player and defender, scored 19 goals in 24 matches this season, including a team-high six matches during the MPSF Tournament. He also scored a goal in the Bears' Big Splash victory over Stanford and notched a goal with four seconds left in regulation to send a match into overtime Oct. 23 at Long Beach State. Matthies was earlier selected second-team All-MPSF.

Cal, which leads the nation with 11 men's NCAA water polo titles, now has 159 water polo All-Americans since 1965.