Oct. 2, 2011
LOS ALAMITOS, CALIF. - Led by two goals apiece from seniors Ivan Rackov and Luka Saponjic, the No. 3-ranked Cal men's water polo team upended No. 2 UCLA, 8-4, Sunday (Oct. 2) in the semifinals of the SoCal Invitational at the Los Alamitos Joint Forces Training Base. The 11-1 Golden Bears' victory over the Bruins avenged a 6-5 loss to UCLA in the Sept. 18 semifinals of the NorCal Invitational in Stockton.
Cal will now play Stanford at 5:50 p.m. for the SoCal Invitational title. The No. 4 ranked Cardinal had upset the No. 1-ranked Trojans, 6-4, in the other semifinal. Earlier this season (Sept. 18) the Bears defeated Stanford, 8-7, in the NorCal Invitational third place match. Cal had defeated Santa Clara, 16-8, and Pacific, 11-9, Saturday at the SoCal Invite.
In the match against UCLA, the Bears and the Bruins were tied, 2-2, after the first period before Cal shutout its opponent 1-0 in the second quarter and then outscored UCLA, 5-2, the rest of the way. Junior goalie Justin Parsons had another stellar match with seven saves, including four saves in the third period, while seniors Cory Nasoff and Zach Greenwood, junior college transfer Ayal Keren and freshman Aleksa Saponjic also notched goals for the Bears.
After three tournament matches, Parson has recorded 30 saves. Luka Saponjic paces the Cal scorers with six goals.
UCLA 2 0 1 1 - 4
CAL 2 1 3 2 - 8
Goals UCLA: White 4
Goalkeeper Saves UCLA: Rapacz 6
CAL: Justin Parsons 7