No. 5 California Hosts No. 7 San Jose State, Sonoma State
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  01/30/2008

Jan. 30, 2008

BERKELEY, Calif. - This Week in Cal Water Polo
California earned its second road victory of the 2008 campaign with a 14-3 win at Pacific on Jan. 30. The Golden Bears continue MPSF action against No. 7 San Jose State on Saturday, Feb. 2 at 12 p.m. Cal will face off against Sonoma State on Sunday, Feb. 3 at 12 p.m. The home games are the first of the 2008 season for the Bears and both will take place at Spieker Aquatics Complex.

Bear-Tiger Match-up Wrap-up
In Stockton, Calif. On Wednesday evening, host-team Pacific struck first, 1:16 into the game with a goal from senior Kellie Fletcher. California quickly responded and proceeded to score 13 of the following 14 goals. Cal came together on offense during the second quarter to post four goals to Pacific's one, giving them a 7-2 halftime lead. California put forth a well-rounded third quarter, scoring three goals of its own and shutting out Pacific. The Golden Bears closed the door on the Tigers in the final period with four goals to Pacific's one, bringing the score to 14-3. Stuart grabbed five saves in goal for the Bears. Senior defender Molly Hayes and sophomore two-meter Grace Reynolds each tallied team-high three goals.

Scouting the Spartans
No. 7 San Jose State (4-0) is currently undefeated after participating in the Michigan Kickoff Invitational last weekend with wins over No. 14 UC San Diego (9-5), Indiana (13-8), Colorado State (16-5) and No. 18 Michigan (9-8). SJSU senior goalie Kendra Adama was named the MPSF Mikasa Player of the Week after notching 32 saves last weekend, including 10 each against UCSD and Michigan. Against the Wolverines, Adama blocked a five-meter penalty shot to protect San Jose State's one-goal lead for the win, 9-8. Junior two-meter Juliet Moss tallied 10 goals in four games last weekend for the Spartans with junior utility Tanya Torres adding nine.

Scouting the Sea Wolves
Sonoma State (1-1) is coming off a 16-5 win over Fresno Pacific on Jan. 26. The Sea Wolves took a 6-1 lead in the first quarter and extended it with a 6-0 run partway through the second period to the middle of the fourth to establish and maintain an insurmountable lead over Fresno Pacific. SSU began its season with a 17-7 loss to No. 8 UC Davis, which the Golden Bears defeated on Jan. 20. Last year, Sonoma State finished 18-21 overall and took ninth place in the Western Water Polo Association.

On the Pool Deck With Head Coach Richard Corso
On the upcoming week of multiple games: "We're not I'm only thinking about the first quarter against UOP. For me to get into the mindset of playing UOP and San Jose State and Sonoma State, I can't do that. That was a critical error the team last year so you have to plan ahead but you can't look ahead. The focus right now is coming out strong in the first period against UOP and to make adjustments along the way. We learned a valuable lesson last year and we don't want to make that kind of error ever again."

Starting on the Right Foot
The Golden Bears opened their 2008 campaign with a 13-6 victory over UC Davis on Jan. 27 at UCD's Schaal Aquatics Center. Cal opened the game with three unanswered goals and combined to shoot 6-for-7 in the first quarter. The Aggies scored three goals in the first quarter to Cal's six, and goalie Heather Stuart only allowed three goals in the final three periods of play. UC Davis never approached closer than its three-goal deficit with the Bears scoring three goals in the third period and two in the fourth. Cal shot 13-25 compared to UCD's 6-25 to take the nonconference victory, 13-6. Defenders sophomore Meghan Corso and senior Molly Hayes each had three goals.

Between the Posts
Senior goalie Heather Stuart helped the Golden Bears to a season-opening 13-6 victory over No. 8 UC Davis on Sunday. Stuart played all 32 minutes in goal, notching 12 saves. Stuart only allowed four first-half goals, half of which were man-advantage goals. Her skills in the net came in handy of play and allowed Cal to successfully defend its lead. Aggie freshman Dakotah Mohr fired two shots in a 6-on-5 opportunity in the final seconds of the first half, but Stuart stopped both attempts. Stuart stopped six shots on goal in the third period alone and allowed just three goals in the final three quarters of play.

Cal Tabbed for Third-Place Finish
The California women's water polo team was predicted to tie for third place in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, according to a preseason coaches' poll released Jan. 18. The Golden Bears, who tied with Stanford with 107 points, earned one first-place vote. UCLA, which has won three straight national championships and return three scoring leaders from last season's squad, took first place in the poll with 132 points and 11 first-place votes.

The Golden Bears of 2008
With another year of experience under its belt, the 2008 California women's water polo team is poised for a successful season. The Bears return 12 of their 15 scorers and all three goalies from last season - and with that comes familiarity and chemistry that Corso said will give the team an advantage this year. Cal competes in the competitive Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, from which all seven NCAA championship teams have come. The Golden Bears will face off against all 13 teams in the MPSF and some of them multiple times as many of the teams will join Cal in the Stanford Invitational and a tournament at UC Irvine early in the season. The Golden Bears finished 12-11 overall and 6-6 in the MPSF last season, which was the program's 10th consecutive winning season. Cal returns 16 letterwinners, including the top three scorers in sophomore two-meter Grace Reynolds, senior defender Molly Hayes and sophomore defender Meghan Corso, and boasts three newcomers. The Bears lose four letterwinners from last year's team and will be most noticeably without four-time All-American Elsie Windes.

Senior Leadership
Three seniors - goalie Heather Stuart, defenders Molly Hayes and Katya Eadington - will provide the Golden Bears with identifiable leaders in the pool. Stuart logged 85 percent of Cal's goalie minutes last season and averaged 8.33 saves per game, eighth in the MPSF. Hayes was second on last season's squad with 32 goals and was the leading scorer in six games. Eadington offers depth at the defender position and notched four goals last year.

Cal Welcomes Peterson, Chiapuzio, Kemp
Richard Corso adds three true freshmen to this year's roster in defender Jillian Chiapuzio and two-meter defenders Alyssa Peterson and Coral Kemp. Peterson, a first-team All-CIF selection, and Chiapuzio led Newport Harbor High School to a Sunset League championship in 2007. Kemp was selected the 2006-07 CIF Division VI Player of the Year and is also a three-time All-CIF first-team selection, three-time all-league pick, a two-time Ocean League MVP and a two-time NISCA All-American.

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 HS team.