Oct. 30, 2011
BERKELEY - Four Golden Bears - seniors Zach Greenwood and Luka Saponjic, junior Marin Balarin and freshman Aleksa Saponjic - each scored two goals apiece as No. 4 Cal defeated No. 8 UC Irvine, 14-6, Sunday afternoon at Spieker Aquatics Complex. With the win, the Bears improved to 16-3 overall and 4-1 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, and take another positive step in their attempt to qualify for the 2011 NCAA Tournament, Dec. 3-4 at Spieker Aquatics Complex.
Junior goalie Justin Parsons also had a stellar match for Cal, registering 13 saves, including blocking a five-meter penalty shot by the Anteaters' Sam Figueroa, who led UC Irvine with three goals.
"It was a very good team effort for us today," said Cal coach Kirk Everist. "I was very happy with our defensive and offensive energy."
The Anteaters had opened up the day's scoring on a goal by Mitch Wise with 6:31 in first period, but the Bears came storming back by scoring the next four goals to take a 4-1 first quarter advantage and never looked back. After junior Ayal Keren scored on a strong inside move with 6:13 in the first period, Luka Saponjic fired a shot past UC Irvine goalie Alex Kazmier from seven meters out with 2:30 left in the opening quarter.
Defense then led to two more goals for Cal. Sophomore Hunter Gettelfinger picked up a steal to start a counterattack, passing to sophomore Collin Smith who fed Balarin for a goal with 49 second left, followed by Parsons stealing an Anteater miscue, passing to Smith, who found Greenwood for an open shot with 12 seconds left in the first period.
The Bears proceeded to outscore UC Irvine, 4-2, in the second period to take an 8-3 halftime lead, and outscored the Anteaters, 6-3, in the second half.
Cal will next travel to UC Santa Barbara for a 12 p.m. MPSF match on Saturday, Nov. 5, before returning to Spieker Aquatics Complex to host Pacific in a league match Friday, Nov. 11 at 5 p.m. in Berkeley. The Nov. 11 match will be the final regular season home contest for the Bears and a chance to honor Cal's 11 seniors on Senior Night.
UCI 1 2 1 2 - 6
CAL 4 4 2 4 - 14
Goals UCI: Figueroa 3, Pickford, Wise, Jarvis
UCI: Kazmier 7 CAL: Justin Parsons 13