Sept. 24, 2007
BERKELEY, CALIF. -
Thu., Sept. 27 Pacific, Spieker Aquatics Complex, Berkeley, Calif. 6 p.m.
BEAR BITES: The No. 2-ranked California men's water polo team (9-1) begins Mountain Pacific Sports Federation play this week when the Golden Bears host No. 15 Pacific (3-7) Thursday at 6 p.m. at Spieker Aquatics Complex. Cal returns to action after hosting an Alumni match last Saturday and following its second-place finish at the NorCal Open on Sept. 16. The Bears saw a 14-match winning streak, carrying over from last season, come to an end when they fell to No. 1-ranked USC, 9-8, on a five-meter penalty shot with five seconds left in the NorCal Open final. So far this year, Cal has been paced by senior All-American Michael Sharf, who was the Sept. 4 MPSF Co-Player of the Week. Sharf has led the Bears in scoring in nine of 10 matches, recording 37 goals with 13 ejections earned. The Bears are also led by senior All-American goalie Mark Sheredy, who had 11 saves in the championship match versus the Trojans and blocked a five-meter penalty shot in the semifinals against UCLA. As a team, Cal is first in the MPSF with 14.60 goals per game, and are second in league by limiting opponents to 5.90 goals per game.
CAL'S ALL-AMERICAN LOOK: The Bears feature five returning All-America standouts - seniors Sheredy, Sharf, Jeff Tyrrell and Adam Haley, and sophomore Spencer Warden. Cal also showcases seniors Zac Monsees and Mike Hayes, who now have 75 and 49 career goals, respectively; and junior Frank Reynolds, a key contributor last season who notched a goal against USC in the NCAA title match. Sheredy, a first-team All-American and 2006 NCAA Tournament MVP, returns to man the goal, while Sharf, a 2006 honorable mention All-American, is Cal's top returning scorer with 48 goals last season (138 career goals). The Bears also return Tyrrell, a third-team All-American who knocked in the match-winning goal against USC in the national championship match (fourth leading scorer with 41 goals in 2006, 77 career goals); Haley, a HM All-American who is one of Cal's best two-meter defenders; and Warden, a talented driver and defender who was an HM All-American and the 2006 MPSF and Daily Californian Newcomer of the Year. This season, the Bears host both the NorCal and MPSF Tournaments (Nov. 23-25) at Spieker Aquatics Complex.
BEARS AT THE NORCAL OPEN: True to form according to the national rankings, No. 1 USC and No. 2 Cal meet in the finals of the NorCal Open Sept. 16 at Spieker Aquatics Complex. The Bears were edged, 9-8, when the Trojans converted on a five-meter penalty shot with five seconds remaining. Sharf led Cal with three goals, including giving the Bears an 8-7 advantage with 2:39 left in the title match. Haley added two goals, while senior transfer Vladislav Andreyev (Diablo Valley College), Tyrrell and Monsees each tallied scores, and Sheredy notched 11 saves. The Bears had advanced to the finals by defeating No. 17 Air Force, 14-4; No 7 UC Santa Barbara, 10-5; and No. 3 UCLA, 10-8, in the semifinals. Sharf was the team's leading scored during the tournament with 12 goals, Monsees chipped in seven goals and Tyrrell added six goals. Cal was also bolstered by the all-around play of Haley, who had four goals to go along with nine steals, four assists and four ejections earned. Complete results of the 2007 NorCal Open are available on the Cal men's water polo page under 2007 NorCal Schedule on www.calbears.com.
NOTING PACIFIC: No. 15-ranked Pacific (3-7), coached by Mike Maroney (fifth year), fell to No. 4 Stanford, 20-11, in its last match on Sept. 22. The Tigers, who placed 12th at the NorCal Open, are led by seniors Dragan Bakic and Duje Kaurloto, with 31 and 20 goals, respectively. Earlier this season, Cal topped Pacific, 21-7, in a non-conference match Sept. 8 in Stockton. Against the Tigers, sophomore center Thomas Pearson (6-4, 220-pounder from Corona del Mar High School) had a match-high three goals and three ejections earned. It was Pearson's top performance of his college career after redshirting in 2005 and sitting out the 2006 season with an injured right shoulder. Other notable effort against Pacific were three goals from Sharf, 12 blocks from Sheredy and five assists from Monsees. Cal defeated Pacific twice last season - 20-8, Sept. 7 in Berkeley, and, 16-6, Nov. 11 in Stockton. Cal associate head coach Boyd Lachance was a two-year starter at Pacific from 1992-93.
HEAD COACH Kirk Everist: A 2004 inductee into the Cal Athletic Hall of Fame, Kirk Everist is in his sixth year, owning a 121-37 mark (.766) after leading the Bears to a 31-4 mark and the program's 12th NCAA crown in 2006. Cal also won the MPSF title last season and Everist was named Division I Coach of the Year. In 2002, he was selected MPSF Coach of the Year after guiding his alma mater to the league tournament title and the Bears' first NCAA appearance since 1995 in his inaugural year as head coach. A 1990 Cal graduate, Everist led the Bears to consecutive national championships in 1987 and 1988, earning All-American status three straight seasons (1986-88) and NCAA Player of the Year honors in 1988. He went on to play for the USA National Team for nine years (1988-96) and competed in the 1992 Barcelona and 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. Everist's staff includes associate head coach Boyd Lachance, who is in his sixth season, and Sean Nolan, a 2000 USA Olympian, who is in his third season. Nolan was a three-time All-American at Cal, helping the Bears to the 1991 and 1992 NCAA titles
DID YOU KNOW? Since its charter season in 1918, Cal has won a NCAA-record 12 national titles, including twice winning three NCAA titles in-a-row (1973-75, 1990-92). The Bears have had 11 different players earn National Player of the Year honors, including current head coach Kirk Everist in 1988. From 1990-92, Cal amassed a record of 86-2 for a .977 winning percentage.
EXTRA CAL NOTES: In 2006, Cal had an impressive 10 players selected to the Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches All-America Team, which tied the Bears' 1974 squad for the most All-Americans in a single year...returning Cal All-Americans include Sheredy, who was also MPSF All-Tournament and third-team All-MPSF; Tyrrell, who besides his game-winner in the title match versus USC, was MPSF honorable mention; Sharf, who was MPSF All-Academic and is a member of the USA National Training Team; Haley, an MPSF All-Academic selection, and Warden, who was named MPSF and Daily Californian Newcomer of the Year, MPSF All-Tournament and MPSF All-Academic. Warden led the Bears with 61 steals, finished the 2006 season with 29 goals and had the match-winning assist to Tyrrell in the NCAA title match victory over USC...Warden played on the USA U20 squad that competed this summer at the Junior World Championships in Los Alamitos, Calif....former Cal standout John Mann, was featured in the August 6 issue of Sports Illustrated's Faces in the Crowd after winning the Peter J. Cutino Award as the nation's best male collegiate water polo player in 2006...Mann is the first Bear to earn the prestigious award named after the former Cal coaching legend who won eight NCAA titles...Mann went on to help the USA National Team to a gold medal at this summer's PanAm Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, qualifying Team USA for the 2008 Beijing Olympics...highlights of the Bears' 2006 NCAA championship victory can be viewed on CalBears.com by double clicking on the National Championship Week Banner.
INDIVIDUAL BEAR NOTES:
Vladislav Andreyev: Senior attacker has scored 11 goals in 10 matches, including goals against UC Santa Barbara and USC during the NorCal Open...on the year has 10 assists, eight steals, four ejections earned and four field blocks...is a transfer from Diablo Valley College where he was a Community College All-American.
Trent Calder: Junior center and team captain has scored 10 goals in nine matches and leads the squad with eight field blocks...is also third on the team with 12 steals and has nine ejections earned...scored a goal against UCLA in the NorCal Open semifinal...has 40 career goals.
Brian Dudley: Redshirt freshman utility man has scored 10 goals in 10 matches, including goals against Air Force and UCLA in the NorCal Open...had a season-high three goals against Johns Hopkins at the Navy Open...is second on the team with 10 ejections earned, and has nine steals and three assists...hails from Johannesburg, South Africa.
Adam Haley: Senior center back and team captain leads the Bears with 18 steals and has nine assists, five ejections earned and two field blocks...tallied four goals during the NorCal Open, including two goals in the final match versus USC.
Mike Hayes: Senior attacker leads the Bears with 16 assists, is third on the squad with 12 steals, and has four ejections earned and a field block...has notched five goals in 10 matches this season, and owns 49 career goals.
Zac Monsees: Senior attacker is third on the team on the team with 15 goals in 10 matches, including seven goals during the NorCal Open...had a team-high four goals in the NorCal Open semifinal victory over No. 3 UCLA...is also second on the team with 14 assists and has nine steals, four field blocks and three ejections earned...is 21st in the MPSF with 1.50 goals per game...owns 75 career goals.
Frank Reynolds: Junior attacker is second on the team with 14 assists...has also scored seven goals in 10 matches with five steals, three ejections earned and one field block...scored two goals against Air Force in the first round of the NorCal Open...tallied 16 goals in 28 matches last season, including a goal against USC in the National Championship match.
Michael Sharf: Senior attacker Is leading the Bears with 37 goals in 10 matches and is second in the MPSF with 3.70 goals per game...was the Sept. 4 MPSF Co-Player of the Week after scoring 18 goals in four matches at the Navy Open...has led Cal in scoring in nine of 10 matches, including a season-high six goals at Navy Sept. 1...also is tied for the team lead with 13 ejections earned, is second with 14 assists and has 10 steals and two field blocks...owns 138 career goals.
Mark Sheredy: Senior goalie and team captain leads the MPSF with 78 saves in eight matches (9.75 saves per game)...had a season-high 12 blocks Sept. 8 at Pacific, and recorded an impressive 11 saves in the Sept. 16 NorCal Open final against USC...has blocked three five-meter penalty shots this season, including a penalty shot against UCLA in the NorCal Open semifinal...recorded 40 saves in the four NorCal Open matches...has already tallied 276 saves in 33 career matches (8.36 saves per match).
Jeff Tyrrell: Senior utility man is second on the team with 16 goals in 10 matches and 17th in the MPSF with 3.70 goals per game...was Cal's top scorer with four goals against Air Force Sept. 15, and went on to score six goals in the four NorCal Open matches...on the year has 13 assists, eight steals, eight ejections earned and two field block...has recorded 77 career goals.
Spencer Warden: Sophomore attacker is second on the team with 15 steals in only six matches...has added nine assists, seven goals, three ejections earned and two field blocks...last season as a redshirt freshman led the Bears with 61 steals and had 30 assists, 29 goals, 11 field blocks and eight ejections earned.