Oct. 29, 2005
BERKELEY, CALIF. - The No. 2-ranked California men's water polo team (16-4) could not overcome a 4-1 first period deficit and the goalkeeping of Ben Tait, falling to No. 5 Pepperdine (15-5), 8-6, Saturday in a non-conference match at Spieker Aquatics Complex.
Twice in the match Cal was able to get within one goal of the Waves - with 3:01 left in the third period on a goal by sophomore Mike Hayes off a pass from junior captain Brian Bacharach, and with 2:57 left in the match on a shot by junior Andrija Vasiljevic. Pepperdine was finally able to seal the match when Jesse Smith converted on a four-meter penalty shot with 2:43 in the fourth period for the final 8-6 margin.
Bear freshman Shea Buckner started the day's scoring with 6:34 in the opening period before the Waves rattled off four straight goals behind a pair of goals from Matt Digges, and goals from Grant Miller and Chris Harding-Brown. Cal was able to outscore Pepperdine 2-1 in both the second and third periods on goals by Vasiljevic, Michael Sharf, Buckner and Hayes, but it was not enough as Tait was able to muster 14 saves to hold off Cal. Bear goalie Nate Bennett finished with eight saves.
Cal will next travel to Pepperdine on Saturday, Nov. 5, and UC Santa Barbara, on Sunday, Nov. 6 for a pair of MPSF matches in Southern California.
Pepperdine 4 1 1 2 - 8 California 1 2 2 1 - 6
GOALIE SAVES: Nate Bennett (Cal) 8; Ben Tait (Pepp) 14