No. 3 Cal MWP Wins 8-7 at UCSB
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  11/05/2011

Nov. 5, 2011

SANTA BARBARA, CALIF. - Sophomore Collin Smith scored with 3:02 left in the match to break a 7-7 tie and give the No. 3-ranked Cal men's water polo team a crucial 8-7 MPSF road win Saturday (Nov. 5) at No. 5 UC Santa Barbara. The Golden Bears, also led by two goals apiece from seniors Ivan Rackov and Zach Greenwood, improved to 17-3 overall and 5-1 in league play.

Cal has two MPSF matches remaining, Nov. 11 hosting Pacific (Senior Day) and Nov. 19 at Bay Area rival Stanford, before entering the MPSF Tournament, Nov. 25-27, at UCLA. The Bears are looking for a high seed entering the conference championship. The winner of the MPSF tournament is the automatic qualifier into the NCAA Championship, hosted Dec. 3-4 at Cal's Spieker Aquatics Complex.

Last year, the Bears fell to USC, 12-10 in overtime, in the national title match.

In the contest versus the Gauchos, Cal exploded for five goals in the second period on a pair of Rackov goals and solo scores from Greenwood and brothers Luka and Aleksa Saponjic to take a 6-3 advantage. However, UCSB battled back and sophomore Matt Gronow was able to tie the match at 7-7 with a little more than five minutes left in the game, before Smith secured the Bears' win.

Junior goalie Justin Parsons finished with eight saves and senior Cory Nasoff had the other score for Cal with a goal in the third period.

"Overall it was a good defensive effort because Santa Barbara is a tough place to play," said Cal coach Kirk Everist. "The shallow end of the pool is not something you can prepare very well for. We played very good five-man defense which was the difference in the game."

CAL 1 5 1 1 - 8

UCSB 1 3 1 2 - 7


CAL: Zach Greenwood 2, Ivan Rackov 2, Aleksa Saponjic, Luka Saponjic, Cory Nasoff, Collin Smith

UCSB: B. Shoemaker, D. Shoemaker, Zhang, Johnson, Gronow, Gillespie, Gaughan

Goalkeeper Saves

CAL: Justin Parsons 8 UCSB: Christian 9