March 12, 2008
This Week in Cal Water Polo
The No. 3 California women's water polo team (11-5 overall, 4-2 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation) takes on No. 12 Arizona State on March 14 in Tempe, Ariz. The Golden Bears hold a 9-0 all-time series lead over the Sun Devils and have already beaten them once this year - 11-7 at the Stanford Invitation (Feb. 8). Cal sits in sixth place in the competitive MPSF and looks to bounce back from a heart-breaking 8-7 loss to then-No. 4 USC at home last weekend. Last Week in Cal Water Polo
The Bears were unable to fend off the Women of Troy in a close game March 15 at Spieker Aquatics Complex. No. 4 USC pulled out an 8-7 MPSF victory thanks to a goal made by Julie Spataru late in the third quarter. Although USC gained an early 2-0 lead, the Bears responded quickly, and two goals would be the Trojans largest lead of the game. In response to the deficit, Cal sophomore utility Julie Oreglia scored on fast break and a long pass from junior two-meter defender Melissa Wheeler with 4:33 to play in the first quarter. Sophomore two-meter Grace Reynolds led the Bears with two goals, including the only goal scored in the fourth quarter off an assist from Darby Anderson. Senior goalie Heather Stuart kept the game close by contributing eight saves.
Scouting Arizona State
The Sun Devils (12-9 overall, 2-4 in the MPSF) split last weekends game with a 9-6 win over No. 13 Long Beach State and a sudden victory loss to No. 9 Irvine. The victory at LBSU was ASU's second conference win and the Sun Devil sits in ninth place in conference play. Senior goalie Caylinn Wallace accumulated fifteen saves for the second consecutive game last weekend and is second in the nation and MPSF in saves, averaging 10 saves per game. Junior Addison McGrath assisted in the win over the 49ers, scoring four goals, and is third in the nation and second in the conference with 52 goals. Traci Aparicio paced the Sun Devils with two goals earlier this season against the Golden Bears.
Team Games Goals G/G GA GAA California 16 148 9.25 102 6.38 Arizona State 21 192 9.14 155 7.38
Darby Anderson had a great overall performance in Cal's game against USC on Saturday. With seconds remaining in the first period, sophomore utility Darby Anderson scored on a buzzing-beating shot from 10 meters out to pull the Bears within one, 3-2, at the end of the first quarter. The Coto de Caza, Calif., native also dished out a key assist in the final quarter, which helped bring Cal within one, 8-7 in the final two minutes of the No. 3 vs. No. 4 match-up at Spieker Aquatics Complex. Anderson is third on the team with 21 goals, averaging 1.3 per game.
The Golden Bears in the MPSF
The Bears currently are in sixth place in the MPSF at 4-2. Cal won its first two conference games - UOP and San Jose State - this season for the first time since 2000 when the Bears went on a 7-0 MPSF winning streak at the beginning of conference play. Grace Reynolds is 12th in the MPSF with 29 goals (1.81 goals/game). Senior Heather Stuart's work between the posts - 10.07 saves/game - places her first among conference goalies. While the Bears are in the middle of the pack at 9.25 goals/game (sixth), California's stellar defense is fourth in the MPSF, allowing just 6.38 goals per game.
Cal in the World of U.S. Water Polo
With the wins over then-ranked No. 4 Hawaii on Feb. 23 and No. 3 USC on Feb. 24, California won its first games of the 2008 campaign over higher ranked teams. The Bears' successful weekend garnered national attention and Cal moved from No. 5 in the national poll to No. 3. Cal's number three ranking is the highest national ranking for the Bears since February 2001 when they were third in the nation. Sophomore two-meter Grace Reynolds is 19th in the nation with 27 goals thus far in the season and senior keeper Heather Stuart's 143 saves are fourth in the national statistics. Additionally, the Bears rank fifth in the nation in defense, allowing just 6.30 goals/game.
California Off to Best Start in Years
The Golden Bears began the season 4-0, which tied the 1998 and 1999 squads for the second-best start in program history. With its current 11-5 overall record, this year's team has the best start since the 2005 campaign. Additionally, the 148 goals that Cal has scored in its first 16 games is the highest of a Golden Bear team since the 2002.
Cal Tabbed for Third-Place Finish
California was tabbed to tie for third place in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, according to a preseason coaches' poll released Jan. 18. The Golden Bears, who tied with Stanford with 107 points, earned one first-place vote. UCLA, which has won three straight national championships and returns three scoring leaders from last season's squad, took first place in the poll with 132 points and 11 first-place votes.
Bears Ink Four Recruits
Four high school recruits have signed national letters of intent to play for California. Emily Csikos, a member of the Canadian junior national team from 2004-06, is a current senior national team member. Lindsay Dorst, the only United States native to sign a NLI with Cal, is an All-American goalkeeper and member of the USA youth team. Athina Vazeos only began playing water polo five years ago but has quickly transformed into an elite athlete at the national level in Canada and has helped her club team to multiple national championships. Libby McLaren amassed a multitude of awards and championships while playing for Australian club teams and is a standout on the Miramonte High School team.Bears Record When... Game decided by 5 goals or less: 6-2 Leading at halftime: 10-0 Trailing at halftime: 1-4 Tied at halftime: 0-1 Went into overtime: 2-0 Leading by 5 or more at halftime: 3-0 Holding opponent under 10 goals: 10-5 Scoring 1-8 goals: 2-5 Scoring 9-15 goals: 8-0 Scoring 16-25 goals: 1-0 Playing a higher ranked opponent: 2-4 Playing a lower ranked opponent: 7-1 Playing an unranked opponent: 2-0