Sept. 18, 2005
IRVINE, CALIF. - The No. 2-ranked California men's water polo team (7-1) placed third at the 2005 SoCal Open Sunday at UC Irvine's Anteater Aquatics Complex, falling to No. 3-ranked USC, 8-7 in the semifinals, before rebounding to upset No. 1-ranked and defending national champion UCLA, 8-7, in overtime. The Golden Bears had handed the Bruins one of their three losses last season, also defeating UCLA in the SoCal third-place match after losing to USC in the 2004 semifinals.
In this season's UCLA upset, junior attacker Andrija Vasiljevic scored his third goal of the match with 2:35 left in the first overtime period as Cal held on to defeat the top-ranked Bruins, 8-7. Neither team scored in the second three-minute extra period as Cal improved to 7-1 on the season and UCLA fell to 6-2. Vasiljevic scored an extra-man goal with 1:27 left in regulation to pull Cal within 7-6 and sophomore Michael Sharf converted with five seconds left in the fourth quarter to send the game into overtime.
Senior goalie Nate Bennett was stellar against UCLA, tallying 12 saves. Sophomore Zac Monsees also registered a pair of goals for the Bears, and junior Marty Matthies also scored for Cal. Junior Brian Kinsel led Cal with two steals and junior John Mann added three assists.
During the morning semifinal contest, third-ranked USC never trailed and took its largest lead of the contest at 7-3 on a goal by Juraj Zatovic with 3:02 left in the third quarter. Mann and Vasiljevic led the Bears with two goals each against the Trojans, while junior Brian Bacharach, Sharf and true freshman Shea Buckner also added scores for Cal. Vasiljevic and Matthies paced the Bears with two assists and two steals apiece.
Cal will next host an Alumni match, Saturday, Sept. 24 at 12 p.m. at Spieker Aquatics Complex. The Bears will then open MPSF action with an Oct. 1 match against Bay Area rival Stanford, with time TBA at Spieker Aquatics Complex.
California (7-1) 1 - 2 - 1 - 3 - 1 - 0 --- 8 UCLA (6-2) 2 - 3 - 1 - 1 - 0 - 0 --- 7
Cal: Vasiljevic 3, Sharf 2, Monsees 2, Matthies. UCLA: Pietsch 2, Powell 2, Johnson, Zider, Jacobs. Saves: Bennett (C) 12; Didinger (UCLA) 11.
USC 4 - 1 - 2 - 1 --- 8 California 1 - 2 - 2 - 2 --- 7
USC: Hale 2, Aksel, Zepfel, Valovic, Delgadillo, Zatovic, Cosentino. Cal: Mann 2, Vasiljevic 2, Bacharach, Sharf, Buckner. Saves: Ricci (USC) 6; Bennett (C) 5.