April 2, 2008
This Week in Cal Water Polo
The No. 5 California women's water polo team heads to Los Angeles to take on the top-ranked Bruins on April 5 and will play No. 17 UC Santa Barbara on Sunday, April 6. The Golden Bears (14-7 overall, 5-4 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation) are looking to rebound from a 7-5 conference loss to SDSU on March 30. Cal brings a two-game winning streak to Southern California after sweeping Sunday's slate of nonconference games - defeating Brown, 14-3, and No. 14 Hartwick, 14-7. The Bears easily defeated UCSB, 7-2, on Feb. 23 at the Irvine Invitational but lost to UCLA, 9-4, the next day in Cal's only loss in the tournament.
Last Week in Cal Water Polo
Despite a strong effort, the Bears narrowly dropped a 7-5 decision to the then-No. 6 Aztecs on Thursday in San Diego. Sophomore defender Erin Scully scored the first goal of the game early in the first period, and senior Molly Hayes finished the game leading all scorers with three goals. Cal returned home Sunday and overpowered Brown, 14-3, and No. 14 Hartwick, 14-7. Eleven different Bears scored in the win against Brown and senior goalie Heather Stuart had seven saves while junior Lauren Burke grabbed five. Hayes had a great weekend, scoring a team-high four goals against Hartwick and grabbing one in the Brown game.
The defending national champion Bruins bring a perfect 22-0 overall and 8-0 MPSF record into this weekend's game. UCLA recently defeated No. 4-ranked Hawai'i, 9-5, last Friday at the Duke Kahanamoku Aquatic Complex. UCLA caught an early 2-0 lead in the first quarter, but it was short-lived as the game was tied at the end of the first and second periods. The Bruins came out firing in the third quarter on fire, with Courtney Mathewson scoring all three of her three goals in the quarter. Senior Jillian Kraus is eight in the MPSF, averaging 2.00 goals per game, while the UCLA defense and offense are both tops in the conference.
Team Record Conf. Games Goals G/G GA GAA UCLA 22-0 8-0 22 276 12.55 112 5.09 California 14-7 5-4 (6) 21 202 9.62 135 6.43
No. 17 UC Santa Barbara has not won a game since Feb. 9, when it upset UC Davis at the UCSD Invitational, 8-6. The Gauchos are coming off a 17-6 loss to No. 3 USC last Friday. Junior Gillian Morgan, is a standout on the squad, is averaging 2.06 goals, good for sixth in the MPSF. Cal leads the all-time series, 24-1, with UCSB's only victory over the Bears coming in 2004. The Gauchos host No. 7 Arizona State on Saturday before facing Cal.
Team Record Conf. Games Goals G/G GA GAA UCSB 4-14 0-8 (12) 18 138 7.67 178 9.89 California 14-7 5-4 (6) 21 202 9.62 135 6.43
Hewko's Hot Hand Leads Bears to Victory
Camille Hewko performed well on both sides of the pool last weekend for Cal. The sophomore utility scored once in each game, drawing a five-meter penalty shot and dishing out multiple assists. Against Brown, despite being triple-teamed in front of the goal, Hewko scored and then later dished it out to Anderson, who scored with four seconds to play in the third quarter to give Cal a 10-2 advantage. In the match-up against No. 14 Hartwick, the Bears scored thanks to a five-meter penalty shot drawn by Hewko. With an assist, Hewko helped Stephanie Schnugg score to send the Bears into halftime with a 9-1 lead. The Newport Beach, Calif. product amassed her second goal Sunday to increase Cal's lead to 11-2.
The Golden Bears in the MPSF
The Bears currently are in sixth place in the MPSF at 5-4. 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 39 goals (1.86 goals/game). Senior Heather Stuart's work between the posts - 9.65 saves/game - places her second among conference goalies. California's stellar defense is fourth in the MPSF, allowing just 6.43 goals per game, while the Bears are in the upper tier, scoring an average of 9.62 goals/game (sixth).
Cal in the World of U.S. Water Polo
Grace Reynolds is 37th in the nation with 39 goals thus far in the season and senior keeper Heather Stuart's 125 saves are 10th in the national statistics, up three places from last week. Additionally, the Bears jumped three places to fourth in the nation in defense, allowing just 6.4 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: 7-4
Leading at halftime: 13-0
Trailing at halftime: 1-6
Tied at halftime: 0-1
Went into overtime: 2-0
Leading by 5 or more at halftime: 4-0
Holding opponent under 10 goals: 13-7
Scoring 1-8 goals: 2-7
Scoring 9-15 goals: 11-0
Scoring 16-25 goals: 1-0
Playing a higher-ranked opponent: 2-4
Playing a lower-ranked opponent: 9-3
Playing an unranked opponent: 3-0