No. 4 Bears Travel to No. 3 USC and No. 6 Hawaii
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  03/26/2001

March 26, 2001

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BEARS DEMOLISH WEEKEND COMPETITION: The No. 4-ranked women's water polo team (12-6, 5-2 MPSF) grabbed two convincing victories, Mar. 24, at the Spieker Aquatics Complex. Cal first knocked out Pacific, 16-6, before taking on the UC Santa Cruz Slugs. The last time Cal and UC Santa Cruz met was March 26, 1997, when the Bears defeated the Slugs 27-1, the largest margin of victory and the highest recorded score in Cal history as a varsity sport. Cal would make history again, as they shut out the Slugs, 17-0, the first shutout all season for the Bears and the second in school history. Fourteen Bears would get on the scoreboard for Cal, as the Bears cruised to an easy victory over the Slugs. The Bears scored on their first possession of the game on a goal from senior Beth Irwin, her first of two goals for the match. Two possessions later, Irwin would steal a Slug pass and get it to junior Brenna Fleener, who would score on a counter attack at the 5:47 mark. The Bears would notch three more goals to end the quarter with a 5-0 lead. Senior goalie Fana Fuqua would tally four saves in the quarter before freshman Lauren Dennis would take her place in front of the cage for the rest of the game. Chris Lane, who scored on a 4-meter penalty shot, and Laura Graham, who scored on a man-up possession, would tally the only goals in the second quarter. Nine more Cal players, however, would find the cage, including two from freshman Lindy Spieker, who notched her third goal of the weekend and her fourth of her career in the match. Finding the cage for the first time of their careers were freshmen Kate DeAyora and Marissa Muller who both tallied goals in the fourth quarter. Lauren Dennis would end the game with nine saves for the Bears. The Bears are now riding a five game winning streak into the match with USC, Mar. 28.

PACIFIC IN REVIEW: The California women's water polo team hosted the Pacific Tigers at Spieker Aquatics Complex, Mar. 24, in their first of two matches on the day. In their previous two meetings with Pacific, the Bears combined to outscore the Tigers 32-6. After the Bears walked away with a 16-6 victory, that margin would be extended to three dozen goals. Ten players for the Bears got on the scoreboard as Cal took complete advantage of this MPSF match. The Bears scored on their first four possessions of the game, the first two coming from junior Julia Cesnik. At the end of the first quarter, After ending the first quarter with a comfortable 6-1 lead, the Bears started the second quarter with a goal on their first possession from Cesnik at hole-set, her third of the game and her second hat trick of the season. Ericka Lorenz scored her second goal with 3:07 remaining in the half, giving the Bears a 8-2 lead at the half. The Bears would open the game up in the second half as Cal's second and third team of players saw significant action in the contest. In addition, freshman goalie Lauren Dennis finished the game in front of the cage, notching two saves for the Bears. Irwin and Petri upped the Bears lead with goals to start the second half, before freshman two-meter player Ashley Miller scored her first collegiate goal as a Golden Bear. Miller would go on to score two goals in the game. Cal, which ended the third quarter with a 12-2 lead, traded goals with Pacific during the fourth. Sophomore Chris Lane would score on a four-meter penalty shot before two-meter freshman Lindy Spieker would find the back of the cage for her only goal of the match, and her second goal of her career.

BEARS DOMINATE IN SOCAL: The No. 4-ranked California women's water polo team handed No. 8-ranked Long Beach State their fourth straight loss, as the Bears picked up an 11-2 victory in a MPSF water polo match, March 17. The win was the Bears third in three days. Against the 49ers, Brenna Fleener led all players with four goals, recording her fourth hat trick of the season. Senior Beth Irwin and sophomore Laura Graham each added two goals for Cal. Cal scored five unanswered goals to start the contest. The Bears were coming off two solid victories at San Diego State and UC Irvine. Cal downed UC Irvine, March 16, 11-7, after defeating San Diego State, 15-6, on March 15. Against the Aztecs, Ericka Lorenz led all scorers with four, while against UC Irvine, the Bears were led by junior Julia Cesnik's three goals.

A LOOK AT USC: The No. 3-ranked USC Trojans (15-3, 4-2 MPSF) recently defeate Umass, 16-2, on March 18. The Trojans have suffered their three losses at the hands of No. 1-ranked Stanford (twice) and No. 2-ranked UCLA. In their recent win against Umass, Aniko Pelle scored five goals in the win for the Trojans, while junior Sophia Konoukh has led the Trojans in scoring seven times this season.

A LOOK AT HAWAII: The No. 6-ranked Hawaii Wahines (12-3, 1-2 MPSF) recently fell to No. 3 USC at their own Hawaii Rainbow Challenge, Mar. 17. Mandy Crawford and Christi Bardecki led the Wahines in scoring against USC with two goals apiece. The Wahines will host the Bears after traveling to the West Coast to take on Santa Clara, San Jose State, UC Santa Cruz and undefeated Stanford.