Oct. 21, 2011
BERKELEY - Led by four goals from senior Ivan Rackov and balanced scoring from seven other players, the No. 4-ranked Cal men's water polo team defeated No. 6 Pepperdine, 11-8, Friday night in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation match at Spieker Aquatics Complex. The Golden Bears (15-3, 3-1) also got 11 saves from junior goalie Justin Parsons and forced 13 ejections on the evening.
"I thought it was a good effort for us tonight," said Cal coach Kirk Everist. "The team had good energy (after the USC loss) and we were able to force a lot of kickouts, which is always a key. We were not great on 6-on-5's, but it was another win in conference, and that is always important."
The Bears were able to rebound after suffering a tough loss in their prior match, a 9-8 defeat to USC in sudden death overtime Oct. 15 at Cal.
Besides Rackov's four goals seven other players - seniors Luka Saponjic and Zach Greenwood, junior Ayal Keren, sophomores Collin Smith and Hunter Gettelfinger, and freshmen Blake Kelly and Aleksa Saponjic - notched scores for the Bears. Rackov, the 2010 national player of the year, leads the MPSF with 54 goals in 17 matches (3.18 gpg) and now has 219 career goals, placing him second on Cal's all-time scoring list behind Chris Humbert's 296 goals from 1988-91.
Against Pepperdine (10-7, 2-2), the Bears held an 8-6 lead after three periods, but were able to outscore the Waves, 3-2, in the final period behind two goals from Rackov. A goal by Pepperdine's Spencer Hamby with 4:45 left in the match got the Waves within, 10-8, but Luka Saponjic sealed the 11-8 win for the Bears with a goal from the right side with 50 seconds left in the contest.
Cal next hosts UC Irvine in a league match on Sunday, Oct. 30 at 12 p.m. Spieker Aquatics Complex is again the host site for NCAA Men's Water Polo Championship, Dec. 3-4, 2011 in Berkeley.
Pepp 3 2 1 2 - 8
CAL 3 3 2 3 - 11
Pepp: DeTrane 2, Perry 2, Milcovich, Loomis, Hamby, Cooper
Pepp: Valics 13
CAL: Justin Parsons 11