March 26, 2008
BERKELEY - This Week in Cal Water Polo
The No. 5 California women's water polo team travels to No. 6 San Diego State on Thursday, March 27 for an Mountain Pacific Sports Federation match-up before hosting nonconference opponents Brown at 10 a.m. and No. 14 Hartwick at 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 30. The Golden Bears (12-6 overall, 5-3 in the MPSF) stopped a two-game losing skid with a 14-8 conference victory over visiting No. 14 Cal State Northridge on March 22.
Last Week in Cal Water Polo
No. 5 Cal broke open a tight match by outscoring Cal State Northridge, 6-1, in the fourth period on the way to a 14-8 victory over the Matadors. After the Matadors' Allison Brookes scored the last two goals of the third period to get her team within, 8-7, Cal dominated the fourth period. Sophomore Meghan Corso started the Bears' scoring spree by knocking down a shot with 6:38 left in the match and senior Molly Hayes gave Cal a 10-7 lead with another outside shot. Junior Melissa Wheeler followed by stealing the ball and swimming the length of the pool to score and give the Bears an 11-7 advantage. From there, Reynolds and sophomore Erika Hanson each scored before Renee Gargiulo finally got CSUN back on the scoreboard with 28 seconds left in the match. Freshman Jillian Chiapuzio gave Cal its 14th goal with 10 seconds left in the contest for the final 14-8 margin.
Scouting San Diego State
The No. 6 Aztecs bring an eight-game winning streak into Thursday's MPSF match-up in San Diego. The Aztecs were tabbed to finish sixth in the MPSF and have only dropped one conference game this year - Stanford on March 1. Junior Anna Gonzales leads SDSU, averaging 2.23 goals per game, good for fourth in the MPSF and senior goalie Heather Fenske is fourth in the MPSF with an average of 8.64 saves per game.
Team Record Conf. Games Goals G/G GA GAA California 16-6 5-3 18 169 9.39 118 6.56 San Diego State 21-2 5-1 23 237 10.30 158 6.87
The Brown Bears started their season with six ranked teams in 11 games but recently picked up a 12-4 win over Harvard on March 13. Brown sophomore Sarah Glick was named the CWPA Northern Division Player of the Week after leading the Bears in the victory against Harvard with four goals, three assists, three steals, and also drawing two ejections. Before coming to Cal, Brown will play four games in Northern California. Cal leads the series, 4-0, with the most recent victory coming in 2006.
Team Record Conf. Games Goals G/G GA GAA California 16-6 5-3 18 169 9.39 118 6.56 Brown 3-9 2-1 12 119 9.9 143 11.9
No. 14 Hartwick recently saw a seven-game winning streak snapped by No. 12 Michigan. Kirsten Hudson has been a key leader for the Hawks this year and is fifth in the country this week with 60 goals, averaging 3.0 goals per game. The Hawks jumped two places from 16 to 14 in the National Collegiate Women's Top 20 Poll this week. The Bears have not played the Hawks since 2005 but Cal holds a 2-0 all-time series lead.
Team Record Conf. Games Goals G/G GA GAA California 16-6 5-3 18 169 9.39 118 6.56 Hartwick 12-8 20 232 11.6 194 9.7
Reynolds Named MPSF Player of the Week
Sophomore two-meter Grace Reynolds was named the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Mikasa Player of the Week for the week of March 24, it was announced Tuesday. Reynolds is the second Golden Bear to earn the accolade this season and shares the honor this week with Hawaii freshman Carmen Eggens. Reynolds paced the No. 5 Golden Bears in the 14-8 MPSF victory over Northridge on March 22. In addition to boasting the match-high four scores, Reynolds helped maintain California's lead in the fourth period with a goal to help clinch the important conference victory for the Bears. The Tustin, Calif., native has been one of Cal's leading scorers in seven games and is first on the Cal squad with 35 goals to average 1.9 goals per game.
The Golden Bears in the MPSF
The Bears currently are in sixth place in the MPSF at 5-3. 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 11th in the MPSF with 35 goals (1.94 goals/game). Senior Heather Stuart's work between the posts - 9.88 saves/game - places her second among conference goalies. California's stellar defense is fourth in the MPSF, allowing just 6.56 goals per game, while the Bears are in the upper tier, scoring an average of 9.39 goals/game (fifth).
Cal in the World of U.S. Water Polo
Grace Reynolds is 38th in the nation with 35 goals thus far in the season and senior keeper Heather Stuart's 168 saves are 13th in the national statistics. Additionally, the Bears rank seventh in the nation in defense, allowing just 6.9 goals/game. With its 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. Cal's successful weekend garnered national attention, and the Bears moved from No. 5 in the national poll to No. 3, which is the highest national ranking for the Bears since February 2001, when they were third.
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, 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: 7-3
Leading at halftime: 11-0
Trailing at halftime: 1-5
Tied at halftime: 0-1
Went into overtime: 2-0
Leading by 5 or more at halftime: 3-0
Holding opponent under 10 goals: 11-6
Scoring 1-8 goals: 2-6
Scoring 9-15 goals: 9-0
Scoring 16-25 goals: 1-0
Playing a higher-ranked opponent: 2-4
Playing a lower-ranked opponent: 8-2
Playing an unranked opponent: 2-0