Sept. 19, 2007
BERKELEY, CALIF. - The No. 2-ranked California men's water polo team, the defending 2006 NCAA champions, will be hosting an Alumni Match this Saturday, Sept. 22 at 11:30 a.m. at Spieker Aquatics Complex. The 2007 Golden Bears (9-1) will be taking on a formidable opponent in the Cal Alumni squad, which includes players John Mann, Andrija Vasiljevic, Marty Matthies and Brian Kinsel, among others, who were members of last year's squad that captured the program's NCAA-record 12th national title. Additional Bear standouts from the past will be competing for the Alumni squad as well. For former players interested in competing for the Alumni Squad should contact Noel Murphy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 2007 Alumni Match is part of a bigger celebration this weekend as Friends of Cal Aquatics will be honoring NCAA champions from the 1977 (30 years), 1987 (20 years), 1992 (15 years) and 2006 seasons. There will be an NCAA Champions Anniversary Party Friday night, followed by the Alumni Match, and then the 2006 squad will be honored at halftime of the Arizona-Cal football game, beginning at 3 p.m. at Memorial Stadium, as part of National Championship Week.
The 1977 and 1987 squads were coached by the legendary Pete Cutino, who guided the Bears to eight NCAA titles from 1963-1988. Cal's '77 team finished 29-3 and defeated UC Irvine, 8-6, in the title match. The Bears' '87 squad, which featured current Cal coach Kirk Everist and NCAA Player of the Year Jeff Brush, were 27-3 and toppled USC, 9-8 in overtime. In 1992, the Bears were coached by the late Steve Heaston, who led Cal to an undefeated 31-0 mark, including defeating Stanford, 12-11 in sudden death overtime, for the national crown. Last year, Everist guided his alma mater to a 31-4 record and an 8-7 victory over USC on Jeff Tyrrell's last-second shot.
Featuring senior goalie Mark Sheredy (first-team All-American goalie and 2006 NCAA Tournament MVP) and senior attacker Michael Sharf (37 goals in 10 matches), the 2007 Bears are 9-1 after losing a tight 8-7 battle to USC last weekend in the final of the NorCal Open at Spieker Aquatics Complex. After this weekend's Alumni Match, Cal will open its Mountain Pacific Sports Federation schedule against Pacific on Thursday, Sept. 27 at 6 p.m. at Spieker Aquatics Complex.